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Eight thousand women die annually in the United States from puerperal infection.1 This has been said so often that it has become almost a platitude.
The fact remains, however, that in spite of universal improvement in aseptic obstetric technic and in spite of the introduction of many new and powerful antiseptics, puerperal sepsis remains a major obstetric problem.
The attempt to sterilize the vagina by instillations of mercurochrome-220 soluble during labor, as introduced by Mayes2 of Brooklyn, has apparently produced a slight decrease in the incidence of infection in clinics in which it has been used, but it has not solved the problem.
At the Boston City Hospital we have compared the results of different methods of obstetric antisepsis. In each of our five delivery rooms a different antiseptic was used over a considerable period. Mercurochrome, corrosive mercuric chloride, iodine, trinitrophenol and hexylresorcinol were the chemicals used. A
WILLIAMS JT. THE RELATION OF RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS TO PUERPERAL INFECTION. JAMA. 1932;99(24):1991–1994. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740760001001
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