The term puerperal fever embraces a group of essentially diverse affections, some of which are, unquestionably, non-contagious; the septicæmic variety of the disease is that which alone engages us in this discussion. An estimate of its gravity may be deduced from the statement of Barker that since 1740 there have been more than two hundred epidemics of this disease. This fact sufficiently emphasizes its prevalence; and the mortality attending ay of these epidemics stamps the disease as a surge scarcely less terrible than cholera or smallox It is most humiliating, in view of the fact that uerperal fever is largely a preventable disease, caused too often by criminal negligence on the part of physician or nurse.
It is frequently urged that our science is not an exact one; but it seems to me the evidence that this fever may be caused by the contagia of erysipelas, scarlet fever and septic
FRENCH GF. HOW SOON AFTER EXPOSURE TO SEPSIS MAY THE ACCOUCHEUR RESUME PRACTICE?. JAMA. 1885;V(1):5–8. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02391020011001a
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