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September 15, 1917


JAMA. 1917;LXIX(11):914. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590380056023

Early in the war, there was a wide divergence of opinion as to when and where operations for head wounds should be performed. Sir Anthony Bowlby and Cuthbert Wallace,1 consulting surgeons to the British Armies in France, have now reviewed the developments in the treatment of head wounds since the beginning of the war. In the first year, the rule was for surgeons, called on to treat head injuries, to operate at once. Apart from the physical defects, many of the patients seemed to be suffering from compression. The operations were performed both at casualty clearing stations and in field ambulances. Many septic complications were being seen in the base hospitals, and it was noted that the patients who, from force of circumstances, arrived at the base without previous operation did better than those operated on at the front. This at first was attributed wholly to faulty technic. Later