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August 17, 1889


JAMA. 1889;XIII(7):236-238. doi:10.1001/jama.1889.02401050020005

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The perennial effort of the medical world to secure some definite mode of treatment for intestinal obstruction (an indefinite ailment) praiseworthy as it is futile, has again made its appearance. This time at a recent meeting of the Berlin Medical Society, through the presentation by Dr. Goltdammer of a series of fifty cases, occurring in his own practice which he had treated without selection and consecutively, by large doses of opium. The results obtained by such treatment, (30 per cent recovery), compare very favorably with those of laparotomy—out of 328 cases of laparotomy collected by B. F. Curtis, 68.9 per cent. mortality—and invite our mature deliberation, especially when we bear in mind the common opinion extant among surgeons as expressed by Greig Smith, quoted by Jacobson, viz.: "To acute cases there can be but one termination death.... Certainly 95 per cent, of such cases die, hence the indication is

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