The laboratory can at times be of considerable aid to the physician in the care of complications in abdominal surgery. It can never replace clinical observations and clinical knowledge, and should be used only as an adjunct to these. Very often the laboratory is of no appreciable assistance in the care of the complications in abdominal surgery.
There are so many complications in abdominal surgery and so many laboratory methods of investigation that in a short communication such as this only a few of each of these can be touched on, and one can hope to indicate only in a general way several ways in which the laboratory can be made useful.
Blood counting is one of the oldest, simplest, and most reliable of the modern laboratory methods in use today. With it one can obtain definite information, especially as to whether or not a patient is anemic. Yet it