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April 19, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(16):1005-1007. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.62480160027001f

Thomas Kirkland, Ashby, Eng., in 1774 called attention to the fact that the so-called puerperal fever was a contagious disease. This view was later supported by other independent observers, notably, in 1843, by our own Oliver Wendell Holmes by Sir James Young Simpson in 1846, by Semmelweise in 1847 and by Trousseau in 1856. But it needed the teaching and practical results obtained by Lister, based on the previous work of Pasteur and by the demonstration of the latter in 1880 that streptococci are often found in the lochial discharges of puerperal women suffering from fever and other constitutional disturbances, before obstetric surgeons finally recognized it as a fact that these pathologic manifestations were due to the same micro-organisms, whose entrance into wounds in other parts of the body were followed by similar constitutional disturbances, and that when the wounded maternal parts were kept free from these organisms or their

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