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June 4, 1938


JAMA. 1938;110(23):1926-1927. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790230042015

Probably because trauma, next to cold, is associated in the minds of people with almost every disease, the first impulse of the surgeon is to reject the possibility as a cause of appendicitis. Deaver said that he had never seen a genuine case of traumatic appendicitis. John B. Murphy, however, as early as 1892 urged that trauma could be an exciting factor in appendicitis, and Howard Kelly claimed that traumatic appendicitis is more frequent than is commonly believed. He collected records of fifty cases, and Osler in his "Practice of Medicine" stated that "trauma plays a very definite role, and in a number of cases the symptoms have followed very closely a fall or a blow."

Three distinct opinions prevail. One categorically denies the existence of acute traumatic appendicitis and regards the occasional association of trauma with an attack of appendicitis as a coincidence. Another accepts the possibility of causal