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June 1953

RESULTS OF TREATMENT OF ACUTE SMALL BOWEL OBSTRUCTION: Clinical Study of Two Hundred Five Consecutive Cases

Author Affiliations

Senior Surgical Resident, St. Francis Hospital (Dr. Bollinger).; Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Illinois College of Medicine (Dr. Fowler).; From the Departments of Surgery, St. Francis Hospital, Evanston, Ill., and University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago.

AMA Arch Surg. 1953;66(6):888-904. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1953.01260030908020

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