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March 21, 1936


JAMA. 1936;106(12):1010. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770120042015

In a survey of the hospital records of 1,400 patients with erysipelas, Keefer and Spink1 found the general mortality to be 16.4 ± 3.6 per cent. The mortality varied from year to year between 9.3 and 21 per cent. When the records were studied for factors that might account for the yearly fluctuations, it was found that the age of the patient, the presence of debilitating diseases and the occurrence of bacteremia were important. Thus the death rate is exceedingly high during the first two years of life; after that period the mortality is low until after the fifth decade, when there is a rapid increase. Almost any debilitating disease, it seemed, may be an important contributing factor in erysipelas. In a series of thirty patients recently studied, all of whom recovered, bacteremia was observed only once. In another group of thirty-nine fatal cases, bacteremia was present in thirty-one