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November 1941


Author Affiliations

Professor of Surgery, George Washington University School of Medicine; Clinical Instructor in Surgery, George Washington University School of Medicine WASHINGTON, D. C.

Arch Surg. 1941;43(5):858-865. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1941.01210170125010

Acute intestinal obstruction is always such a serious illness that it demands prompt recognition and treatment to prevent a fatal termination. This is just as true when it occurs in infants as when it occurs in adults, with the further consideration that infants, being inarticulate, often are subjected to delay in diagnosis, and this results in their contributing more than their share to the high mortality rate.

When one is reminded that the first successful operation for the cure of duodenal obstruction in an infant was reported as recently as 1916,1 there seems some justification for the past failures of those responsible for the medical care of infants to recognize the condition. That the point in pediatrics has been reached where the disease, whether acquired or congenital, is more promptly recognized is attested by the increasing number of cases reported. There has been an unjustifiable tendency to consider gastric and