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Preventable death in oesophageal atresia.
  1. R J Brereton,
  2. R B Zachary,
  3. L Spitz


    We report on experience gained in the treatment of 158 cases of oesophageal atresia presenting during a period of 10 years. The factors influencing mortality were analysed. During the period studied there was a slight improvement in survival, and this was probably due mainly to improved preoperative preparation of those babies undergoing primary repair. At best, 'staging' was thought to have had little influence on the survival of poor risk cases. Midwives, obstetricians, paediatricians, surgeons, and general practitioners did not do all that they could have done to prevent morbidity and mortality in these babies. At least one-third of the 79 deaths could have been prevented, and several deaths were caused solely by lack of awareness of the possible complications and associated abnormalities.

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