Endoscopic examination of the stomach with the rigid gastroscope was a hazardous procedure, and according to Schindler1 many deaths resulted. With the flexible instrument complications are rare, and only one death has been questionably attributed to its use. Schindler2 in 1940 reported the results of a questionnaire concerning fatalities in relation to gastroscopic examination. In all, 22,351 gastroscopic examinations were reported. In this series there were eight perforations of the stomach and one of the jejunum, but none of these terminated fatally. One patient died nine days after the examination, but whether the latter was directly responsible for the fatal outcome could not be definitely established. Since this report was published, others have recorded complications, none of which were fatal.3
At the University of Iowa 538 consecutive gastroscopic examinations were done without any complications. The technic advised by Schindler was used both in preparation of the patient
Paul WD, Lage RH. PERFORATION OF ESOPHAGUS CAUSED BY FLEXIBLE GASTROSCOPE: REPORT OF CASE WITH AUTOPSY. JAMA. 1943;122(9):596. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.72840260001007
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: