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November 29, 1919


JAMA. 1919;73(22):1655-1656. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610480005002

After exhaustion or shock due to the condition for which operation is performed; after starvation from cancer or obstruction; after hemorrhage from perforating ulcers, etc., or following the physiologic disturbance produced by an operation itself—for instance, resection of the stomach, of the gallbladder, of the intestine, etc.—the most common danger incident to abdominal operations is infection. In civilian surgery, the principal sources of abdominal infection are the appendix, the gallbladder, the tubes, ulcers, or the operation itself; while in military surgery, infection may be due to missiles, clothing, or the contents of the hollow viscera—especially the last.

It follows that a consideration of methods of prevention and treatment of abdominal infection has a direct bearing on every type of abdominal operation. The scheme of treatment to be presented is based on a total experience in all types of operations of my colleagues Dr. F. E. Bunts, Dr. W. E. Lower

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