Letters

Managing acute appendicitis

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7379.49/a (Published 04 January 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:49

Technology at expense of clinical evaluation will diminish quality of care

  1. John Howie, emeritus professor, general practice (john.howie@btopenworld.com)
  1. 4 Ravelrig Park, Balerno EH14 7DL
  2. Department of Surgery, General Hospital, Bishop Auckland, County Durham DL14 6AD

    EDITOR—Like many others will have been, I was astonished at the assertion in Benjamin and Patel's leader that mortality from negative appendicectomy (1.5%) exceeded that of appendicectomy for acute appendicitis (0.2%).1 It is clear from reading their source document, that this is a seriously misleading statistic, the figure of 1.5% representing the mortality of comorbidity rather than that of the appendicectomy itself.2

    In a study of all 805 deaths from appendicitis or appendicectomy in Scotland (population 5 million) over 10 years to 1963, mortality from appendicectomy for appendicitis was 0.62%, and that from negative appendicectomy was 0.06%. Seventy one of the 605 patients (11.7%) for whom clinical records …

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