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Acute appendicitis: Acute appendicitis or acute appendicectomy?

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 21 September 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:653
  1. John G R Howie, emeritus professor of general practice (
  1. University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9DX

    EDITOR—Over 40 years ago, I studied the clinical pathology of the appendix and the epidemiology of appendicectomy. I would like to comment on four complementary issues.1 Firstly, around 1960 the 4/1000 death rate ranged from 1/2600 for uncomplicated appendicitis in young adults, to 1/9 for patients older than 50 with a perforated appendix. Death rates for male patients were double those for female patients. Deaths from a normal appendicectomy were 1/5000 in young …

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