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May 5, 1888


JAMA. 1888;X(18):557-558. doi:10.1001/jama.1888.02400440017004

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Not the least significant outgrowth of the Semmelweiss doctrine of puerperal fever is presented in modern views as to the causation and prevention of puerperal mastitis. Olshausen1 has given at a recent date an uncommonly clear and concise summary of the more important facts in connection with this subject. In the following note, free use is made of this essay, not only on account of its authoritative source, but also because it is adequately representative of the state of our present knowledge.

Every case of puerperal mastitis is due to infection. Now, it is necessary to distinguish between the physiological turgescence of the mammæ and parenchymatous inflammation. The former occurs usually on the second or third day of the puerperium, and is characterized by symmetrical enlargement and rotundity of the organs, while the latter commences during the second or third week—seldom earlier than the sixth day—and begins in a circumscribed

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