From a survey of the literature, one would gain the impression that coagulation and cauterization of the cervix were entirely harmless procedures. Yet I am aware of two deaths following cauterization of the cervix, reports of which have not as yet appeared in the literature. In one of these cases a retroperitoneal phlegmon and in the other a generalized peritonitis were found at autopsy. In 1928 Curtis1 casually mentioned three cases of pelvic cellulitis from the use of cautery treatment of the endocervix. All of his patients recovered. He felt that this complication was perhaps more common in those women who have a retrodisplacement of the uterus.
The two cases reported here emphasize the fact that coagulation of the cervix is not entirely without danger, especially if there has been a previous history of septic abortion.
REPORT OF CASES
—M. R., a white woman
Hiller RI. DEATH FOLLOWING COAGULATION OF THE CERVIX. JAMA. 1935;104(15):1323–1324. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.92760150002009a
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