Medicine: Worm-Shaped Trouble

Appendicitis is no longer the killer it was a dozen years ago. Since sulfa drugs began to be used to control the complication of peritonitis, the annual toll of U.S. lives lost to appendicitis has been cut from about 17,000 to 5,000. But, says Dr. Frederick Fitzherbert Boyce of New Orleans, the success of the wonder drugs has given both doctors and laymen a false sense of security.

Hoping to "sound the alarm" about the continuing seriousness of appendicitis, Dr. Boyce has written a book, Acute Appendicitis and Its Complications (Oxford, $8.75). The first essential, he says, is still accurate diagnosis. And...

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