In calculating these mortality percentages the standard which we have set for ourselves is that every death in hospital following an operation from any cause whatsoever, no matter how long the interval, is recorded as a postoperative fatality. There is no possibility of any exception being made to this rule, however justifiable it might appear to be, for the record is automatically made by a secretary from the completed case record after the patient's hospital discharge, living or dead. Were this precaution not taken, those personally interested would, now and then, find the temptation to evade an admittedly severe standard well nigh irresistible.
But should one begin to make exceptions to the rule, there would be no end to them—a patient about to be discharged after a successful operation has a perforated gastric ulcer; another gets out of bed at night to go to the toilet, trips over an obstruction
CUSHING H. THE SURGICAL MORTALITY PERCENTAGES PERTAINING TO A SERIES OF TWO THOUSAND VERIFIED INTRACRANIAL TUMORSSTANDARDS OF COMPUTATION. Arch NeurPsych. 1932;27(6):1273–1280. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1932.02230180002001
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