A short time ago my interest was drawn to the possible fatal complication of septicemia caused by Bacillus coli following gastric operations. A woman 58 years old, in excellent condition before operation, died eighteen hours after a gastro-enterostomy with a temperature of 41.5 C. (106.6 F.) and signs of vascular collapse. Bacillus coli-communior was recovered in an antemortem blood culture. The postmortem examination revealed no evidence of localized infection, peritonitis or hemorrhage. Death was attributed to overwhelming B. coli septicemia.
The records of gastric operations at the University Hospitals for the last thirteen and one-half years,1 exclusive of the cases of perforated ulcer, include another fatal case of bacteremia caused by B. coli proved by antemortem blood culture and a third case which was similar to these two in its clinical features but in which no blood culture was taken. Because no record of such cases has been found
ILFELD FW. FATAL CASES OF SEPTICEMIA CAUSED BY BACILLUS COLI FOLLOWING GASTRIC OPERATIONS. Arch Surg. 1935;31(4):632-641. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1935.01180160128011