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December 12, 1891


JAMA. 1891;XVII(24):937-938. doi:10.1001/jama.1891.02411020035003

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This appalling accident, although, fortunately, rare, happens with sufficient frequency to make it a matter of concern to all obstetricians. Particularly is it desirable to remember the conditions most frequently leading to it, and to be familiar with such premonitory signs as are occasionally afforded.

Dr. J. M. Withrow, of Cincinnati, has reported, in the last number of the Lancet-Clinic, a case apparently unique in some particulars, and which emphasizes with unusual force the part played by ergot in this disaster. Hastily summoned to see an obstetric case, he was informed, upon his arrival, that the woman was dead. Finding a suspicion of heart movement, he immediately gave a hypodermic injection of tincture of digitalis; then examined per vaginam, and found the cervix fully dilated, and the vertex presenting, but not engaged. The pelvis was roomy and the head small, so that in about five minutes delivery by the aid

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