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Article
December 8, 1906

PUERPERAL FEVER AND THE MONUMENT TO SEMMELWEIS.

JAMA. 1906;XLVII(23):1920. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.02520230056004
Abstract

The work of Semmelweis in connection with the prevention of puerperal fever, a work to which thousands of mothers owe their lives and freedom from what was formerly a veritable plague, has been honored by the erection of a monument1 at Budapest. This tribute to one who is perhaps the most renowned representative of the movement which secured the modern aseptic methods of midwifery gives occasion to review the history of this discovery and to note how singularly its growth was hindered by misapprehension and ignorance. It affords opportunity also to call attention to the advanced condition of American medicine and medical literature at a period to which we are somewhat inclined to look back as belonging to the dark ages. Great discoveries are usually the culmination of a long series of observations and theorizing which prepare the way for the discovery and appreciation of the truth and which

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