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Article
March 23, 1957

ELECTROSHOCK THERAPY DURING THE PUERPERIUM

Author Affiliations

New York

From the Department of Psychiatry, New York University— Bellevue Medical Center.

JAMA. 1957;163(12):1017-1022. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970470015004
Abstract

• Any patient in the puerperium who is acutely disturbed, unmanageable, suicidal, or homicidal is a proper subject for electroshock therapy. For affective disorders, electroshock therapy alone is the treatment of choice. If a patient is suffering from a schizophrenic reaction, a combination of electroshock and insulin therapy may be indicated. Fourteen women were treated with electroshock therapy during the puerperium without a single complication being encountered, but, when this type of therapy is considered, the possibility of dislodging an embolus by the electroconvulsion must always be kept in mind. Where there is evidence of postpartum thrombophlebitis, it is best to defer therapy during the six weeks of the puerperium, provided the psychosis does not in itself threaten the patient's life.

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