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April 14, 1962


JAMA. 1962;180(2):154. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050150060013

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ONE of the obvious and common pathological dramas enacted by the abdominal viscera is appendicitis. Available statistics imply that acute appendicitis develops in more than 200,000 patients each year in this country and is accountable for something over 2,000 deaths. With proper pride, the medical profession notes the advances in treatment following the earliest description of appendectomy in 1735. Then in London, the barber-surgeon, Claudius Amyand, excised an inflamed appendix and fecal fistula from the scrotal sac of an inguinal hernia. This unwitting medical first and other feats of surgical import amply justified his appointment as Sergeant-Surgeon to George II. The prototype of scrotal appendicitis escaped Amyand, and a century and a half elapsed before Dr. Reginald Fitz made his contribution in 1886 defining appendicitis and its treatment. The logical correlation of clinical, pathological, and therapeutic facts established in the awakening medical profession a disease entity and an example of

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