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I cannot agree with Dr. S. T. Pope (The Journal, October 21, p. 1359) that postoperative constipation is not harmful, or that it never causes auto-intoxication. In September a case in the Akron City Hospital after operation ( performed for me by a surgeon) resulted in stasis of the intestine. The following failed to produce a movement: castor oil, enemata, aloinbelladonna strychnin-cascara pills, cascara alone, phenolphthalein, etc., all repeated several times. Meanwhile the temperature climbed up day by day to over 103 F. Finally, twelve ounces of fluid citrate of magnesia did the work, and the temperature dropped to normal.
McCormick AS. Postoperative Constipation. JAMA. 1911;LVII(18):1474. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.04260100300033
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