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May 1, 1897

A Basis for Medical Statistics.

JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(18):853-854. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440180039013

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Chicago, Ill., April 24, 1897.

To the Editor:  —German medical papers have recently published a number of articles on puerperal morbidity based on statistics of hospitals in Berlin, Dresden, Marburg and other cities. The value of these statistics is much lessened by the knowledge that the investigators had not worked on similar lines or according to uniform methods. Some quoted rectal temperatures; others used the axilla. There was not a complete agreement as to the physiologic limit of temperature, though most of the investigators properly considered any rise above 38 degrees C. as pathologic. It was further noticed that considerable variation in the percentage of puerperal fevers occurred in the tables based on the readings of the thermometer by nurses and on those by the physician. Koblanch of Berlin, took the axillary temperature of patients during the last seven months of the period of eight years for which his table

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