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January 14, 1911


Author Affiliations

Surgeon to St. Joseph's, and Gynecologist to City and County Hospital ST. PAUL, MINN.

JAMA. 1911;LVI(2):115-118. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560020031012

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Of all the diseases or pathologic conditions confronting the medical profession, perhaps none has received so much attention as puerperal eclampsia. We learn from early literature that the most competent investigators of all ages have searched for the cause, and equally competent therapeutists have endeavored to apply successful treatment. While these labors have resulted in a measure of success, it must be admitted that even in this enlightened age of medical research we have been unable to determine the exact etiology; and the fact that the most recent statistics still estimate the maternal mortality at from 25 to 35 per cent., and the fetal at 40 to 60 per cent., would indicate that the treatment has been as unsatisfactory as the attempt to find out the cause.

Pathologists are almost unanimous in their belief that the convulsions and concurrent symptoms of puerperal eclampsia are the result of irritation of the

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