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September 23, 1939


JAMA. 1939;113(13):1199-1204. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800380017005

In the Peripheral Vascular Clinic of the Massachusetts General Hospital in the ten year period from Jan. 1, 1929, to Jan. 1, 1939, there have been 530 patients with sufficiently advanced arterial obliterative disease to require admission to the hospital. Of that number 204 have had single major amputations and fifty-eight have had bilateral amputations. My paper is based on this material.

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS  The treatment of this trying condition should be concerned primarily with those measures which, with reasonable safety to the patient, hold out the greatest hope of painless independence consistent with the known prognosis of the disease and the age of the patient. It must be remembered that the peripheral lesion is but one manifestation of a generalized progressive process and that a protracted hospital stay to save a potentially useless extremity is neither a kindness to the patient nor an intelligent utilization of the beds of