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Dr. A. L. Barach Reports 6 of
14 Patients Rewon Health by
Method Halting Breathing

CHICAGO, Jan. 31 -- Local [--] lung rest therapy brought six out of fourteen sufferers from advanced tuberculosis back to health, Dr. Alvin L. Barach of Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, reported here tonight before the Chicago Tuberculosis Society.

    The lung rest treatment which through the use of an equalizing pressure chamber enables the patient to stop breathing, produced "marked improvement" in three of the fourteen cases and a "slight to moderate benefit" in three others. No change was noted in two cases.

    In the equalizing pressure chamber, the patient experiences the effect of cessation of breathing accompanied by extreme relaxation. Through the use of the equalizing pressure chamber, equal pressure is applied simultaneously to the inner and outer surfaces of the chest as well as the upper and lower surfaces of the diaphragm. X-ray pictures revealed no movement of the ribs or diaphragm while a patient was in the equalizing pressure chamber.

    Of the fourteen cases reported upon, ten received a single course of three to four months for eight to eleven hours daily, Dr. Barach said. Three patients had two courses and one had three courses.

    "The healing of tuberculosis infiltration, collapse of cavities and clinical recovery have followed immobilization of both lungs in the equalizing pressure chamber, results which were unattainable by any other method of tuberculosis therapy in some cases presented in this report," Dr. Barach said.

    "The effect of cessation of breathing on the central nervous system is of considerable interest. The impulse for movement of the voluntary muscles in the extremities is strikingly diminished. The patient may lie in the chamber for hours without moving his hands or changing position. The desire to smoke disappears when voluntary respiration stops even in patients who have been accustomed to smoke two packages of cigarettes daily. In many instances the relaxation is of such a nature that the patient does not require amusement, although in other cases a radio has been employed for that purpose.

    "Immobilization of the chest wall and diaphragm has been accomplished in the living subject by residence in the equalizing pressure chamber. A normal exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide is maintained without the movements or the effect of breathing."

The New York Times, Feb. 1, 1947, sec. 1, p. 18, col. 5. There's a summary in the Sunday edition on Feb. 9, p. 18, col. 5.