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CONSIDERATION OF ERRORS IN THE DIAGNOSIS OF INTUSSUSCEPTION

MARK M. RAVITCH, M.D.
AMA Am J Dis Child. 1952;84(1):17-26. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1952.02050010033004.
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AT THE Johns Hopkins Hospital in the period from 1939 to 1951 there have been five deaths from intussusception. In that time we have treated 79 children for this condition. The five deaths actually occurred in the first 40 of the cases, which were seen between 1939 and 1946. In analyzing our experience with intussusception,1 we were chagrined to discover that in each of these five cases a serious delay had occurred in the initiation of definitive treatment. In each instance the delay was caused by failure to diagnose the intussusception upon the patient's first visit to the hospital after the onset of the condition. In one child, intussusception was only an incident in the course of an already-established fatal disease, but the other four children should not have died had the diagnosis been made promptly.

The experience has led us to review the histories of the children in

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