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November 30, 1957

Gastro-Intestinal Obstruction

JAMA. 1957;165(13):1764. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980310116033

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The authors of this work have emphasized correctly that, although the mortality from intestinal obstruction has been greatly reduced, the present rate of 10 to 15% is still an appreciable one. Further reduction of the mortality will depend on a better understanding and earlier diagnosis of the condition. Throughout the text one is impressed with the fact that the laboratory does not make the clinical diagnosis but only aids it. Stress has been placed on the methods whereby an early diagnosis of intestinal obstruction can be made without the advent of strangulation and/or peritonitis. The "sit tight" policy is condemned. The authors do emphasize the importance of proper preparation (hydration, electrolyte balance, and restoration of blood volume), which can usually be accomplished within 6 to 24 hours. Careful coordination between diagnostician, radiologist, and surgeon makes for a readable text. This book can be recommended.

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