Most surgeons are cognizant of the voluminous literature concerning the physiologic and pathologic response to trauma. In contrast, a by-product of this response, the stress ulcer, although recognized for over 100 years, has not received the attention it merits.
Curling1 in 1842 described acute ulceration after severe burns, and others have reported ulceration after intercranial disease,2 fractures,3 trauma,4,5 and general surgical procedures.6-8
It has been our observation that the surgeon is so preoccupied with the immediate problems resulting from trauma or operation that he may overlook a very real hazard to the patient resulting from stress ulceration. Listed are 7 cases recently seen at Queens General Hospital which illustrate this complication.
Report of Seven Cases
—A 79-year-old woman was admitted with a fracture of the femoral neck. She had sustained the fracture 6 weeks prior to admission, but an earlier x-ray was reported