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August 26, 1905


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1905;XLV(9):620-623. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.52510090042001k

Many men of many minds have written about peritonitis. The theme is old but not exhausted—not while surgeons are reporting 100 per cent. of mortality. I shall confine myself to a discussion of the acute diffuse suppurative form of the disease, and will consider especially the treatment. For etiology and classification I will refer to the publications of Senn1 and Bayard Holmes,2 whose monographs are exhaustive and scholarly.

In the study of this subject my purpose has been to secure for comparison the experiences, methods and opinions of a considerable number of surgeons. This I have undertaken by correspondence and by some references to literature. Fifty letters were addressed to surgeons in various sections of the country, information being sought on lines suggested by the following questions:

  1. Do you make it a rule to operate on acute diffuse suppurative peritonitis?

  2. If not, what are the contraindications?

  3. On how