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May 2, 1931


JAMA. 1931;96(18):1472-1474. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720440020006

During the past few years I have had the opportunity of observing three or four patients with retroperitoneal hemorrhage with acute symptoms of short duration. On all occasions, because of the similarity of symptoms and signs to those of early peritonitis caused by appendicitis or a ruptured viscus, laparotomy was advised and performed. Although the preoperative diagnosis was erroneous in all the cases, an operation on three of the four patients really was found to be a necessary procedure. Appreciating the difficulty in distinguishing between retroperitoneal hemorrhage and early peritonitis, I sought aid from the literature but was surprised to learn that there are practically no references to retroperitoneal hemorrhage in the literature, at least during the past ten years.1 Neither could any information of significance be found in the surgical textbooks of recent years. However, I did find a short report of two cases by Bonar2 of

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