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July 1939


Author Affiliations

Junior Assistant Surgeon, New York Post-Graduate Medical School and Hospital NEW YORK

Arch Surg. 1939;39(1):57-85. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1939.01200130060005

It seems worth while to present some facts about surgical patients who may be said to be suffering from a condition I wish to call concealed chronic alcoholism. The obvious case of addiction to alcohol can hardly be excluded from the study until the diagnosis is actually made by the surgeon treating the patient. Then the diagnosis chronic alcoholism is added to the surgical diagnosis.

The need of recognition of all types of alcoholism in patients with surgical conditions is emphasized and illustrated in certain cases which I have observed and which I shall describe. In this report the term concealed chronic alcoholism is used for the first time so far as I know. If there is a condition deserving the name concealed chronic alcoholism, there are, I believe, means of making the diagnosis. Some of these are herein detailed.

Acute alcoholism is as a rule comparatively easy to recognize