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When we turn our mental skiascope in retrospect, so as to reveal the dark places or shadows in the history of surgery, we are surprised to find that little more than a decade has passed since stab and gunshot wounds of the abdominal contents have been treated intelligently from a surgical standpoint. In these cases there was a wound of entrance and perhaps a wound of exit also, with perchance other and undisputable evidence of penetration of the organs within. Yet, notwithstanding these indications for operative interference, surgeons had continued for many years to ask the question so strikingly put by Abernethy, who asked, "is it enough that we examine the little hole made by the bullet, and as Nature, who shakes her head and leaves the patient to his hopeless fate?"
With the development of abdominal surgery, after the introduction of antiseptics, came the solution of the question. When,
LORD JP. TRAUMATISMS OF THE CONTENTS OF THE ABDOMINAL CAVITY. JAMA. 1898;XXX(23):1346–1351. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.72440750034002j
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