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May 14, 1932


JAMA. 1932;98(20):1738. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.27320460006013d

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The widespread use of different types of cervical pessaries, presumably for therapeutic purposes but in reality for contraception, prompts this report. Physicians are led to believe that these instruments are beneficial to patients suffering with dysmenorrhea, or at least that they are harmless. Both assumptions are false. Within the last few years more than a dozen patients have been seen in the gynecologic service at St. Luke's Hospital with severe pelvic peritonitis and cellulitis due to infections originating about these pessaries. The following is an illustrative case history:

Mrs. M. R. entered St. Luke's Hospital in the service of Drs. Harry E. Mock and N. C. Gilbert too ill to permit either a complete history or a satisfactory examination. The clinical diagnosis was miliary tuberculosis.

Four months prior to admission, a cervical stem pessary had been inserted. Less than forty hours after admission, the patient died. Postmortem examination revealed a

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