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Article
February 19, 1944

GALLSTONESHOW FAR MAY WE GO IN POSTPONING OPERATION?

JAMA. 1944;124(8):497-498. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850080025007
Abstract

To what extent may we expect delay in surgical intervention to contribute to complications in gallstones? This question, pertaining to approximately 10 per cent of the population,1 is particularly pertinent at this time. Before World War II patients could be operated on promptly and at will even for symptomless gallstones. Today patients cannot be so favored. The improved economic status of the public and the popularity of group hospitalization insurance have created an unprecedented demand on hospitals for private accommodations. Hospital beds and nursing services must be conserved. Over 36,000 nurses have already gone into the armed services, and the Red Cross has agreed to recruit an equal number by June 30, 1944.2 Moreover, there is greater validity today in the patient's argument that he or she cannot surrender present duties and responsibilities of an essential occupation or of a household without help. As a result, operations for

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