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May 1952


Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Services of the Children's Hospital of Michigan and Harper Hospital.

AMA Arch Surg. 1952;64(5):561-570. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1952.01260010579005

THE MEDICAL profession is well aware of the frequency and seriousness of appendicitis and its complications in children. However, this awareness is not shared by all the profession or the laity regarding this disease as it affects infants aged 24 months or younger. There is a good reason for this, as appendicitis is not of frequent occurrence in the infant. The clinical picture of acute appendicitis in the child is of a fairly fixed pattern, but in the infant the opposite may be true. The clinical picture may assume a variable pattern of symptoms and signs which make it difficult for the parent and physician to suspect or recognize the disease before peritonitis has developed.

We realize that the physician and pediatrician literally see hundreds of infants with fever and vomiting and mild abdominal pain not due to appendicitis; therefore it becomes a difficult problem to distinguish the infant whose

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