The perforations of the large bowel presented here have 2 main features that set them apart from the usual traumatic intestinal perforations. In the first place, the majority of these accidents occurred in the hospital and usually in the presence of one or more physicians, which should insure prompt diagnosis and treatment. On the other hand, many of the patients under discussion harbored diseases apart from the one inflicted upon them. Often, these preexisting diseases were of a serious nature, and thus they materially influenced the ability of these patients to withstand the stress of surgical procedures necessitated by the rupture of the hollow viscus. Table 1 shows the associated illnesses, type of injury, treatment, and results.
The 18 cases presented here have been collected from the records of The New York Hospital over the past 28 years.
There were 10 men and 8 women in this group. The ages