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The crowning glory of Semmelweiss' theory of puerperal fever, as aptly remarked by Kucher (Puerperal Convalescence and the Diseases of the Puerperal Period, p. 234. J. H. Vail & Co., New York, 1886) is the chapter on prevention. In the fifteen minutes allotted to this topic by the directors of the present discussion, it is possible only to give the briefest outlines of the subject.
The principles upon which the prevention of puerperal fever depends are few and very simple. As summarized by Credé (Gesunde und kranke Wöchnerinnen. Leipzig, 1886, p. 79) there are only two. They are: 1. Prevent, as far as possible, lesions of the genital tract. 2. Prevent the infection of the lesions that are inevitable.
Let us discuss each of these principles in detail. 1. Prevent, as far as possible, lesions of the genital tract. In every labor, no matter how ideally physiological it may be,
JAGGARD WW. THE PREVENTION OF PUERPERAL FEVER. Read before the Chicago Medical Society, February 4, 1889. JAMA. 1889;XII(9):289–303. doi:10.1001/jama.1889.02400860001001
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