A number of cases have been reported in which the abdominal cavity has been subjected to irrigation for puerperal sepsis, with indifferent results; but the accompanying report is unique, so far as I am able to determine, on account of the length of time the irrigation was practiced, the effect of the irrigation on the kidneys and peritoneum, and the ultimate recovery of the patient without the ordinary sequels of septic peritonitis.
The patient was a French woman, aged 24, unmarried, secretary to a woman of considerable wealth. She became pregnant during the latter part of August, 1902. During October and November she made frequent attempts to produce abortion by means of various drugs, hot-water vaginal douches and the like, but unsuccessfully. Early in December a meddle-some woman friend initiated her into the mysteries of instrumental procedure, and during the evening of December 9 she inserted an ordinary wooden penholder
BURTENSHAW JH. GENERAL PUERPERAL SEPTICEMIA TREATED BY INTRA-ABDOMINAL IRRIGATION WITH NORMAL SALINE SOLUTION; RECOVERY.. JAMA. 1903;XL(15):961–963. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.92490150013002b
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