Reports of peritonitis following perforation of the intestine in new-born infants are not infrequent in the literature. However, the following case may be of sufficient interest to warrant its recording.
The perforation sometimes has been known to occur during intrauterine life. Skiles1 recently reported such a case in which the distended abdomen of the infant caused dystocia, an abdominal paracentesis becoming necessary before delivery could be completed. Autopsy revealed peritonitis secondary to a perforation in the twisted loop of a volvulus of the small intestine.
I have reviewed the literature and have listed six cases besides my own in which the intestinal perforation was thought to have occurred during intra-uterine life. The following writers2 reported one case each: Breslau, in 1863; Genersich, in 1891; Orth, Zillner, Pfaff, in 1899, and von Sury, in 1912. In addition to these, Salter3 recently reported one instance in which the trauma