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December 1, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXV(22):1397-1403. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.24620480017001c

It is well established that there is no more valuable life and health conserving operation than the removal of an offending appendix in the period of health.

The analogy between the appendix and the gall-bladder is in many ways striking, but it is not perfect. The appendix always contains within itself elements of sepsis, which by their escape into the peritoneal cavity threaten life; the gall-bladder does not; its contents threaten life only when, after prolonged irritation, it has yielded to infections brought from more or less remote areas. The appendix often becomes completely infected without warning; the gall-bladder seldom does. The appendix often contains one or more fecal stones which, septic in themselves, cause ulceration of the mucous lining and give opportunity for direct infection from bacteria right at hand; the gall-bladder may also contain stones, but it is questionable whether they have within themselves bacteria capable of causing

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