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December 12, 1908

A PLEA FOR THE PROMPT EVACUATION OF THE UTERUS IN THE TREATMENT OF ECLAMPSIA.

JAMA. 1908;LI(24):2041-2046. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25410240029001i
Abstract

In the whole range of obstetric practice, two diseases have claimed pre-eminently more victims and brought more sorrow into the human family than all others combined. They are sepsis and eclampsia.

For centuries a cloud of mystery obscured the causes of these two diseases. That of childbed fever baffled research until the brilliant observations of Semmelweis, and the later investigations of Pasteur revealed the cause and pointed out a line of treatment, both prophylactic and curative. Asepsis has almost eliminated puerperal infection, and the vigorous campaign waged against germs for the past half of a century has antagonized their virulence to such an extent that we seldom see now the destructive ravages of this disease. But what about eclampsia?

Zweifel has well said: "It is a disease of theories." About the time that Semmelweis made his fruitful observations regarding the cause and prevention of childbed fever Lever and Rayer demonstrated

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