October 1957

Intestinal Obstruction in the Newborn

Author Affiliations

From the Children's Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University, Medical School.

AMA Arch Surg. 1957;75(4):684-692. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1957.01280160194024

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A picture is worth a thousand words; and "what is a story without pictures?", said Alice. This paper on intestinal obstruction in the newborn is largely a reproduction of an exhibit shown in 1956 at the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association. It is published at the suggestion of Waltman Walters, Chief Editor of the Archives of Surgery. A few general observations will be made, and pictures will illustrate the commoner causes of intestinal obstruction in the newborn and the methods of surgical correction.

The history is short and often useless, consisting only of hazy observations made by the mother or attendant during the few days of the infant's life. Symptoms, signs, and physical findings are our only guide.


Vomiting.  —Because all infants vomit or regurgitate, evaluation of this symptom is important. The outstanding significant sign of abnormal vomitus is its color—green. The normal infant does not

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