THE INTRODUCTION of the use of indwelling gastric and intestinal siphonage by Wangensteen1 and the use of intravenously administered fluids and plasma and blood replacement as well as of other therapeutic and diagnostic aids, particularly the antibiotics and roentgen examinations, have allayed some of the dread of acute intestinal obstruction.
Many physicians are now reasonably sure of themselves as regards the differential diagnosis between strangulating and simple obstructions and the technical management of affected patients. The mortality, however, remains much too high.
An attempt has been made to survey the management in the last five years of acute intestinal obstruction occurring at the Los Angeles General Hospital. It was not the purpose of the study to go into detailed clinical and laboratory findings but rather to search for possible pitfalls of omission or commission as well as for surgical blunders and, in reflection, to see if one might not