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November 1938


Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Clinic of the University of Liége, Director, Professor Delrez.

Arch Surg. 1938;37(5):735-750. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1938.01200050041003

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Recently Aird, of Edinburgh, stated that since the beginning of the century the mortality from intestinal obstruction has remained about 40 per cent. He added that despite animal experimentation, the knowledge acquired in this field has not been sufficiently applied to therapy. When one considers that intestinal obstruction is one of the most common occurrences, if not the most common, at least in the surgical clinic of Professor Delrez, and when one reflects on the high mortality reported by Aird, one is not surprised at the efforts of clinicians to improve the treatment for this grave condition.

I wish particularly to emphasize that obstruction is rarely a disease per se. It is as a rule the consequence of a preexisting condition or of a malformation, or the cause may remain obscure. But in all instances the obstruction aggravates further the original condition. One should, however, in the presence of obstruction,

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