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November 1938


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Research Surgery, Temple University Hospital, and the Philadelphia General Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1938;37(5):751-759. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1938.01200050057004

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Approximately 300,000 persons in the United States will be operated on this year for acute appendicitis and its complications. Twenty thousand of these will die at an average age of 27 years. Fewer than 2,000 will die of acute appendicitis. More than 17,000 will die of peritonitis.

Of the 300,000 persons operated on, nearly 195,000 will have an intact appendix; the serous coat will be unruptured. The mortality will be less than 1 per cent. Of the 300,000, it is estimated that 105,000 will have peritonitis at the time of their admission to the hospital and approximately 1 of every 6 of these will die; 63,000 will have local peritonitis and approximately 3 per cent, or 1 in 30, will die; 42,000 will have spreading peritonitis and more than 15,000, or 1 in every 3, will die. Over 80 per cent of those who die will die of spreading peritonitis.

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