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Tonsillitis And Tonsillectomy

Volume 655: debated on Monday 12 March 1962

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asked the Minister of Health how many persons died of tonsillitis and tonsillectomy, respectively, during the past 10 years.

In 1951–60, 672 deaths were attributed to acute tonsillitis or to hypertrophy of tonsils and adenoids. In 291 of these tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy was mentioned on the certificate.

Do I understand from that Answer that more people have in fact died from tonsillitis than from tonsillectomy? Will this information be conveyed to those people who think that operations on tonsils are exceedingly bad and result in more deaths?

No. The hon. Gentleman has not understood correctly, because this expression, hypertrophy of tonsils, relates to the thickening of tonsils, as I understand it in non-technical language, and this must be linked with the tonsillitis cases in considering the figure of 672.

Is not the position really this, that this operation, which was universally done on very many people in the past, is now suspect, and that it is important to make an inquiry to make certain what the true position is?

I was not aware of that, but I will pursue the hon. Gentleman's question.

May I ask how much it cost to get that Answer and what was the use of it?