I remember when I was a senior resident working in the city-hospital emergency room. Another resident was on the telephone with the chief admitting resident. The conversation concerned a man with a previously known chronic organic brain syndrome and a fever, who was being admitted to the hospital. Although I don't recall the complete history, one comment made by the resident in the emergency room has remained with me for the past five years: “This man has got to be ‘tapped.’” I wondered then and still wonder now whether the patient did require a lumbar puncture. Does the elderly patient.