SMALL bowel obstruction has always been a serious problem, but the over-all mortality rate, which in 1908 was reported by Scudder1 to be 60%, has successively fallen to 44%, as reported by McIver2 in 1932, and to 17.9%, after the introduction of the intestinal decompression method in 1933, as reported by Wangensteen3 in 1939. More recently, Moses4 in 1946 reported a mortality rate of 8%, but in his series he did not include cases of congenital atresia, which are notoriously associated with a high mortality rate; West and Schetlin,5 though they included neither cases of atresia nor of mesenteric thrombosis, reported a mortality rate of 16.3% in 1950.
ANALYSIS OF CLINICAL MATERIAL
Our clinical material is drawn from a nonuniversity hospital of 375 beds and 75 bassinets during the period of 1945 to 1951. During this time, there were 98,590 hospital admissions, of which 43,490
BOLLINGER JA, FOWLER EF. RESULTS OF TREATMENT OF ACUTE SMALL BOWEL OBSTRUCTION: Clinical Study of Two Hundred Five Consecutive Cases. AMA Arch Surg. 1953;66(6):888–904. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1953.01260030908020
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