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November 17, 1906

What Is General Suppurative Peritonitis?

JAMA. 1906;XLVII(20):1668. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.02520200064013

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Columbus, Ohio, Oct. 27, 1906.

To the Editor:  —In discussing any subject it is very essential that those who take part in the discussion shall agree on their definitions of the terms that are used. In this part of the country surgeons have been in the habit, I think, of limiting the diagnosis of "general" suppurative peritonitis to cases in which the entire peritoneum from the floor of the pelvis to the diaphragm is involved in the suppurative process. If the suppurative process is very limited, we have called the case one of "local" peritonitis; if the process is more widely diffused we call it "diffuse" peritonitis; but we do not use the word general unless the entire peritoneum is involved. In cases of general purulent peritonitis the process has been going on as a rule for five or six days, the abdomen is distended, peristalsis has ceased, the Hippocratic

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