Medicine: The Heart and Both Lungs

Edward Falk, a 43-year-old New Jersey carpenter, could not work last year because of shortness of breath. By early October he could not even summon up enough wind to get out of bed. His complaint was emphysema, a condition in which the myriad tiny sacs on the inner surface of the lungs become blistered, scarred and fibrous. With their loss of elasticity, they lose the capacity to exchange carbon dioxide and life-sustaining oxygen. Once considered an uncommon disease, emphysema is now being diagnosed much more often. In most cases, as in Falk's, the...

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