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War Surgery and Medicine



In December 1952 Dr D. Macdonald “Wilson in a review found that only 170 ex-servicemen in whom the peritoneal cavity had been entered by a missile had applied for a war pension. The files of 150 of these cases were examined. The cases had not page 274 been a great source of invalidity since their return to New Zealand. Only three men had not returned to full work, but these suffered from multiple wounds among which the abdominal condition was not the chief source of invalidity. The men were occupied in various trades, professions, clerical and heavy manual work.

After return to New Zealand several men underwent repair operations for ventral herniae, but in only two cases had adhesions with obstruction caused major disabilities requiring operative interference. One case resulted from an accidental bomb wound in New Zealand and was associated with a torn gall-bladder and subsequent subphrenic abscess.

A number had no pensionable disability, but most had been granted pensions for a 20 per cent to 30 per cent disability, while a few were assessed at a higher rate for symptoms and associated ventral herniae. The main disabilities were flatulent dyspepsias with constipation or alternate constipation and diarrhoea