PHILLIPS and Cope1 recently suggested that the mortality of burn patients in the first few postburn days has diminished remarkably. One reason, certainly, is the effective use of colloid and salt solutions. The amounts of these solutions are calculated according to the ostensible extent of serious burn. In pancreatitis a burn-like injury exists in the retroperitoneal space the size of which is more difficult to calculate. The admission signs and symptoms of a case of acute pancreatitis that may end fatally may be less impressive than those of another case of acute pancreatitis that runs a short benign course with recovery and discharge on the third or fourth hospital day. The onset of shock may be insidious and surprise the unwary physician.The purpose of this article is to point to a useful sign in severe acute pancreatitis. Hemoconcentration is a forewarning that shock may ensue.
GRAY SH, ROSENMAN LD. Acute PancreatitisThe Significance of Hemoconcentration at Admission to the Hospital. Arch Surg. 1965;91(3):485-488. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1965.01320150115021