INJURY to a pulmonary vessel may be one of the most serious accidents that can occur during the course of a pulmonary resection. If the hemorrhage is uncontrollable or massive, death may occur immediately. If the vascular damage is extensive or if a crushing forceps is applied to control the rapid and severe blood loss, it may be necessary to resect the entire lung when lobectomy or segmental resection was all that was initially planned.
The three current texts on the technique of thoracic surgery1 all describe a method for careful dissection of the pulmonary vessels. They stress care and state that prevention of injury is very important. Methods of control of hemorrhage are mentioned by Overholt and Langer and by Johnson and Kirby, emphasizing the fact that use of crushing forceps—and consequently further damage—should be avoided. Methods of repair are described. It is under these three headings, prevention,