Accidental transanal perforation of the rectum in the newborn infant has been reported only once. This report of the second fatal case is to call attention to this neonatal hazard, awareness of which may permit early diagnosis and treatment of the resulting peritonitis.
Report of a Case
The patient, a white boy, was the product of a nine-month uncomplicated pregnancy and uneventful delivery. He appeared normal in all respects and so received routine newborn care, which included the rectal measurement of the temperature upon admission to the nursery and once daily. His color, activity, stools, and feedings were normal until early on the fourth day, when he seemed sleepy and anorexic and he was slightly jaundiced with occasional tachypnea. Later that day he became lethargic, with sunken eyes, a weak feeble cry, abdominal distension, reduced motor activity and distinct jaundice. In addition, a trace of bloody mucus was found on