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Reports of this disorder were the subject of six prior works dating from 1902 so that the entity was not new to observers. In thirteen years of experience at the Babies Hospital of New York, general peritonitis had been seen in 171 cases. Of these, nine had been demonstrated by culture to be due to the pneumococcus. Patients' ages ranged from 9 months to 4 years, the younger ages being more common because of the young age of the inpatient population.
Of the nine children, seven had a clearly demonstrated focus in the lung which antedated the development of peritoneal signs by as long as a month. There was fever in all; many had palpable abdominal masses and abdominal swelling. In one there was associated meningitis. The leukocyte count was elevated modestly with a prominence of polymorphonuclear forms. In two, the leukocyte count was over 25,000. In this group there