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Article
November 24, 1888

THE TREATMENT OF PERITONITIS.Read in the Section on Gynecology at the Thirty-ninth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, Cincinnati, May, 1888.

Author Affiliations

OF FORT WAYNE, IND.

JAMA. 1888;XI(21):721-724. doi:10.1001/jama.1888.02400720001001

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Abstract

PATHOLOGICAL DEFINITION OF PERITONITIS.

"Increased vascularity-softening or thickening of the peritoneal membrane, with effusion of coagulable lymph, or of a sero-albuminous or sero-puriform, or sero-sanguineous fluid, sometimes with organized adhesions." Copland.

When Dr. Rushton Parker asserts in his article on Peritonitis, published in the "Dictionary of Practical Surgery," that "the treatment of peritonitis is simple enough whatever be its cause," and that "opium, alcohol and liquid diet is the treatment that may be uniformly adopted in all its forms," he fails to apprehend that it is only through a perfect diagnosis in each case that we can see in what direction surgical or therapeutical interference should be attempted; for connected with the treatment of peritonitis are several questions I will submit for your consideration:

Is acute peritonitis ever idiopathic?

Is it a symptom or a disease?

Is it always septic?

Again I may ask—

Does the treatment properly belong to

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