SINCE the ending of World War II many papers have been published dealing with abdominal injuries in warfare. Emphasis has been placed on patients that survived operation. This paper is presented as an analysis of the extent of injury and the cause of death of those who did not survive intra-abdominal injuries.
This material was obtained from records of an active evacuation hospital and from two surgical teams working with active field hospitals. All autopsies in cases of death in the evacuation hospital were done by a pathologist attached to the unit. In the field hospitals, autopsies were done by an operating surgeon and were therefore limited because of the heavy burden thrust on the surgical teams.
In this series of patients there were 91 deaths following major abdominal wounds, and in 75 per cent of this group autopsies were performed. All patients had suffered major visceral and/or vascular damage.