A critical review of 1,039 consecutive patients with acute appendicitis admitted to the Charity Hospital of Louisiana at New Orleans was undertaken in an endeavor to determine the most satisfactory method of treatment. In the entire group,1 a large proportion of which came under our immediate care, there were fifty-six deaths, or a mortality rate of 5.3 per cent, a figure similar in magnitude to that obtained by others. A uniform request was sent to the record rooms of municipal hospitals in different parts of the United States. The results for a comparable period are shown in table 1.
In 860 (83 per cent) of the 1,039 cases the appendix was not ruptured at the time of entry. Prompt appendectomy was performed in every instance and was associated with seven deaths, or a mortality rate of 0.8 per cent. In one of the seven fatal cases the appendix was