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July 10, 1943


JAMA. 1943;122(11):747-748. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840280031012

Among the important problems in the reduction of postoperative mortality after major surgical procedures is the persisting high incidence of pulmonary complications. Walters and his associates demonstrated that pulmonary complications occur with greater frequency in elderly malnourished patients than in others. At the University Hospitals of Cleveland, according to Studley, the mortality rate associated with gastric resection paralleled closely the magnitude of the loss of weight in patients with chronic peptic ulcer. Abbott and Mellors1 now note that patients with moderate anemia on admission to the hospital, when given 1,000 to 2,000 cc. of whole blood prior to operation, often did much better than patients who had normal blood values on admission and who did not receive transfusions. Apparently, a decrease in the plasma volume associated with chronic dehydration can mask anemia and hypoproteinemia.

An unselected group of 14 patients with carcinoma of the gastrointestinal tract or pyloric stenosis