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Lung Aspiration in Pneumonia

Donald R. Scott, MD
JAMA. 1976;235(25):2718. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260510012009.
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To the Editor.—  As an alumnus of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and as one who has had frequent contact with the Navajo Indian, I read with particular interest the article by Davidson et al (235:158, 1976).Although this study may have comtributed valuable data to the diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia, I take issue with the fact that 25 Navajo Indians were subjected to a procedure, ie, lung aspiration, that is not routinely done on pneumonia pa tients. Even the authors agree in their last sentence: "However, neither procedure [transtracheal or lung aspiration] is necessary for the appropriate management of most cases of community-acquired pneumonia."Their article further disclosed that three of the 25 Navajo patients (19 to 56 years of age) died after the investtigative procedures were done. The authors believed that the deaths were probably not related to the lung aspiration. They based this


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