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September 2019

P N G Med J. 1995 Sep; 38(3): 222-5.

Ten cases of bush thoracotomy in Enga Province, Papua New Guinea.

Beare N, Watts J.

Edinburgh University Medical School, UK.

Bush thoracotomy is the traditional practice of incising the chest wall into the pleural space in an attempt to relieve chest pain. The procedure is practised by village people in Enga Province in the highlands of Papua New Guinea and causes considerable morbidity. The beliefs on which it is based are discussed, and the methods employed described. Ten cases presenting after bush thoracotomy are documented, and one case of bush laparotomy noted. A way of reducing the morbidity from this practice is suggested.

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