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Article
April 11, 1896

IS HYSTERECTOMY FOR PUERPERAL INFECTION JUSTIFIABLE?

JAMA. 1896;XXVI(15):719-720. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430670021002d

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Abstract

At the present time this is an important question and of interest to the medical profession in general. While asepsis and antisepsis have rendered incalculable service in the prevention of puerperal infection, such cases occur and we are compelled to devise means for their relief.

Before adopting any line of treatment or surgical measure in these cases, it should be established that they are life-saving commensurate with the risks incurred by their use.

Before hysterectomy can be adopted as a justifiable measure in puerperal infection it must be demonstrated that it will save lives that can not be saved by less heroic treatment.

From inquiry of eighteen leading gynecologists and obstetricians, I find five opposed and thirteen in favor of the operation.

Out of fifteen cases operated upon eight have died, making a death-rate of 53⅓ per cent.

In most instances it is said that the operation is done as

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