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December 27, 1952


JAMA. 1952;150(17):1715-1716. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.03680170069015

Surgery in Old Age.  —R. A. C. Owen and A. F. Murphy of Liverpool summarize the results of a consecutive series of 537 operations performed by them in persons over 70 years old. They say that the results leave much to be desired, but, as almost all of the patients dealt with had some crippling or fatal disease, the results should be reviewed in the light of those who were saved rather than those who died. The series was taken in an ex-municipal hospital, which received many derelict patients. Of the 537 operations, 434 were major, 252 being elective and 182 emergency procedures. The great preponderance of men in the series (339) was due to the large number of prostatic cases, and the mortality among the elective cases was 22.6% and among the emergency 33.5%. The death rate in the prostatic patients was 21.8%, in those with intestinal obstruction 37.2%,

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