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Major Surgery in Patients 75 Years Old and Older

JOHN M. DORSEY, M.D.; ERNEST E. SMUCKER, M.D.
Arch Surg. 1961;83(4):634-637. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300160146017.
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From May 1, 1957, to April 30, 1960, 369 patients, whose minimum age was 75 years and whose average age was 81.12 years, had major surgery performed at Evanston Hospital. Seventy per cent were females. There were 46 surgical deaths, a mortality of 12.46% (Table 1).

The Evanston Hospital has 425 beds. Under the direction of the Chairman of the Surgical Department are the divisions of neurologic surgery, orthopedics, and urology and the services of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. Gynecology is a separate department. It is interesting to note that there was no purely gynecologic surgery performed by gynecologists in the age group studied. Ophthalmologic and otolaryngologic procedures have been excluded. The patients have been largely nonindigent. We have made what we think is successful use of our private patients in the training of our house staff. We are an affiliated hospital in the Northwestern University Medical School Residency Training

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