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June 1, 1912


JAMA. 1912;LVIII(22):1676-1678. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04260060025008

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Why pregnant women are at times attacked with eclampsia with fatal results in a large percentage of cases is still an unsolved problem. It is believed that something goes wrong with the chemistry of the blood in such patients—that a toxic material is elaborated which finally produces signs and symptoms that point toward, if they do not terminate in, active convulsions.

Such women, whether they have active eclampsia or not, bear children more or less affected by their mothers' morbid condition. We find on studying these toxic or eclamptic women that their children show varying degrees of affliction, some dying in utero with a resulting abortion or early still-birth, while others go to term and are born in an enfeebled or asphyxiated condition, which results in still-births at term or death shortly after birth from apparent inanition. Still others, whose mothers have gone on to convulsions, partake of

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