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September 23, 1939


JAMA. 1939;113(13):1196-1198. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800380014004

Arteriosclerotic gangrene of the lower extremity is a fairly frequent occurrence in the experience of both physicians and surgeons. The maiming possibilities of such a condition are of course evident. However, the profession as a whole does not fully appreciate the high immediate mortality. Approximately one third of all these patients die during the course of their subsequent amputation.

Because of this seemingly excessive mortality, numerous studies have been made in an attempt to remedy the situation. In institutions giving particular thought and care to the problem the mortality is considerably under that mentioned. For instance, McKittrick1 reported a mortality approximating 15 per cent. Others2 have achieved a mortality of about 20 per cent.

The means by which this reduction in mortality has been attained is worthy of consideration by all who in any way care for patients with arteriosclerotic gangrene. The recommendations which have been made may