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To the Editor.—Exploratory puncture of the abdominal cavity is a routine procedure in patients with clinical symptoms of internal hemorrhage. Unfortunately, it is not always diagnostic; many times the laparotomy reveals blood when the puncture is negative. I have recently had occasion to examine two patients with intraperitoneal hemorrhage, patients who also had inguinoscrotal hernias. In addition to the usual content of the hernial sac, physical signs of fluid were obvious. A simple puncture of the hernial sac produced uncoagulable blood. The patients were operated on and a ruptured spleen was found in both.
General practitioners and surgeons might try this puncture in order to attempt to confirm my impressions derived from these two observations.