The 16,000 deaths every year in the United States from appendicitis are quite unnecessary. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment for appendicitis, as for diphtheria, should make the mortality from either of these diseases almost negligible. In late cases, however, the analogy limps, because late in diphtheria treatment is of practically no avail, whereas in the late stages of appendicitis proper treatment is usually successful.
In the early stages of appendicitis almost any kind of appendectomy will do, but in the late stages skilful technic and physiologic procedures frequently make the difference between life and death. Late and neglected cases result largely from lack of appreciation of the importance of early operation, but, though education may do much to lower the incidence of late cases, there will doubtless for various reasons always be a considerable number of them. A large percentage of patients with a ruptured or gangrenous appendix operated on