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Robert E. L. Berry, M.D.
JAMA. 1952;148(5):347-355. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930050019005.
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There has been some progress in our knowledge of the pathological physiology and treatment of acute intestinal obstruction in the past two decades. Despite this advance, the mortality rate in the treatment of such obstructions remains discouragingly high. There are differences of opinion among persons with considerable experience as to certain aspects of management, but this does not seem to be importantly related to the continued high mortality rate. The commonest causes of death in small-bowel obstructions1 are peritonitis and infection. Because they are, for the most part, late manifestations of the disease process, their prevention and early, effective treatment should be the logical method of significantly lowering mortality rates. Failure of early diagnosis and delayed application of proved sound therapeutic procedure undoubtedly are the most important factors in maintenance of the lethal results of acute obstruction.


Acute Mechanical Small-Bowel Obstruction.—  Early diagnosis of intestinal obstruction is possible


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