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December 4, 1926


JAMA. 1926;87(23):1919. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680230043015

Gaseous distention of the intestine is a familiar sequence of abdominal operations and of injury to the abdominal viscera through disease or trauma. The discomfort that it occasions to patients at a period that is likely to be distressing for other reasons inevitably gives concern to the physician and sometimes assumes the proportion of a grave menace to the afflicted. The recognition of the fact that motor disturbances, such as paralysis of the intestine, may follow insult to the gastro-intestinal tract has not been sufficient to point the way to effective treatment; indeed, the attempt to promote peristalsis by appropriate drugs has probably done harm rather than good in many instances. The reason for this has been indicated by a recent writer in a reminder that gaseous distention is not caused by intestinal paralysis per se. The actual ballooning out must be brought about by positive pressure of gas within

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