The mortality in surgical cases of intestinal obstruction is entirely too high. Reports show that it is 30, 40, 50 per cent, and even higher. There is no phase of abdominal surgery that offers so great opportunity for improvement in its results as that of intestinal obstruction. The mortality in operative cases should not be more than 5 or 10 per cent. In order to obtain this end, no great skill is required, or no expensive outlay in apparatus is demanded. We have only to apply a few simple principles of diagnosis and treatment to reduce the death rate for obstruction of the bowels to one-fourth its present surgical mortality. Seventy-five per cent of the deaths after operation are due to late operations. The fate of the patient is determined by the treatment of the first physician that sees him. Quite invariably the sufferer from ileus sends early for a
HOLDEN WB. INTESTINAL OBSTRUCTION: A SURVEY OF 135 PERSONAL CASES. Arch Surg. 1926;13(6):882–886. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1926.01130120106005
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