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Open Access Research article

Spectrum of perforation peritonitis in India-review of 504 consecutive cases

Rajender Singh Jhobta*, Ashok Kumar Attri, Robin Kaushik, Rajeev Sharma and Anupam Jhobta

Author Affiliations

Department of General Surgery, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Chandigarh (Pin: 160047), India

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World Journal of Emergency Surgery 2006, 1:26  doi:10.1186/1749-7922-1-26

Published: 5 September 2006

Abstract

Background/objective

Perforation peritonitis is the most common surgical emergency in India. The spectrum of etiology of perforation in Tropical countries continues to be different from its Western counterpart. The objective of the study was to highlight the spectrum of perforation peritonitis as encountered by us at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Chandigarh.

Methods

Five hundred and four consecutive cases of perforation peritonitis over a period of five years were reviewed in terms of clinical presentation, operative findings and postoperative course retrospectively at GMCH, Chandigarh.

Results

The most common cause of perforation in our series was perforated duodenal ulcer (289 cases) followed by appendicitis (59 cases), gastrointestinal perforation due to blunt trauma abdomen (45 cases), typhoid fever (41 cases) and tuberculosis (20 cases). Despite delay in seeking medical treatment (53%), the overall mortality (10%) was favourably comparable with other published series though the overall morbidity (50%) was unusually high.

Conclusion

In contrast to western literature, where lower gastrointestinal tract perforations predominate, upper gastrointestinal tract perforations constitute the majority of cases in India. The increasing incidence of post-traumatic gastro-enteric injuries may be due to an increase in high speed motor vehicle accidents which warrant early recognition and prompt treatment to avoid serious complications and death.