9780198204992

The Tragedy of Childbed Fever

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780198204992

  • ISBN10:

    019820499X

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2000-03-09
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Summary

Childbed fever was by the far the most common cause of deaths associated with childbirth throughout Europe up to the Second World War. Otherwise known as puerperal fever, it was an infection which followed childbirth and resulted in miserable and agonizing deaths for thousands of women every year. This book provides the first detailed account of this tragic disease from its recognition in the eighteenth century up to the second half of the twentieth century, examining it within a fully comprehensive history of infectious diseases.

Author Biography


Irvine Loudon is a freelance historian of medicine.

Table of Contents

List of Figures
x
List of Tables
xii
An Introduction to Puerperal Fever
1(13)
Case Histories of Puerperal Fever
2(3)
The Clinical Features of Puerperal Fever
5(2)
The Pathology of Puerperal Fever
7(1)
Nomenclature and Synonyms for Puerperal Fever
8(2)
Measuring Mortality due to Puerperal Fever
10(1)
The Bacteriology of Puerperal Fever
10(1)
The Link between Puerperal Fever and Erysipelas
11(1)
Overview
12(2)
Puerperal Fever in the Eighteenth Century
14(10)
The First Appearance of the Term `Puerperal Fever'
14(2)
The Recognition of Puerperal Fever as a Separate Disease
16(2)
Early Views on the Nature and Causes of Puerperal Fever
18(2)
Charles White and the Prevention of Puerperal Fever
20(2)
The Treatment of Puerperal Fever
22(2)
Gordon of Aberdeen
24(11)
Gordon's Treatise
25(1)
The Link with Erysipelas
26(1)
Treatment
27(1)
The Epidemic and the Treatise
28(4)
The Reception of Gordon's Work
32(3)
Epidemic Puerperal Fever in Towns
35(23)
The Frequency of Town Epidemics
36(4)
The Abingdon Epidemic
40(1)
Other Epidemics
41(3)
Epidemics Spread by Doctors and Midwives
44(5)
Erysipelas and Puerperal Fever in the USA
49(4)
Oliver Wendell Holmes and Puerperal Fever
53(5)
Puerperal Fever and the Lying-in Hospitals
58(17)
The Establishment of Lying-in (Maternity) Hospitals
58(2)
Death in the Lying-in Hospitals
60(4)
Descriptions of Hospital Epidemics
64(7)
The Cause of Hospital Epidemics
71(4)
Puerperal Fever: Causes and Contagion
75(13)
Changing Definitions of Fevers
75(1)
Contagionism, Anticontagionism, and Puerperal Fever
76(2)
Contagions, Infections, and Miasmas
78(3)
Explaining Epidemics of Puerperal Fever
81(1)
Configuration, Contamination, and Predisposition
82(1)
Clarity and Confusion
83(2)
James Young Simpson and Puerperal Fever
85(3)
Semmelweis
88(23)
Semmelweis Arrives in Vienna
88(2)
The Two Clinics
90(2)
The Introduction of Antisepsis
92(4)
Semmelweis's Concepts of the Etiology of Puerperal Fever
96(3)
The Dissemination of Semmelweis's Doctrines
99(3)
The Illness and Death of Semmelweis
102(4)
The Influence of Semmelweis
106(3)
Appendix. A Brief Chronology of the Life and Work of Ignaz Semmelweis
109(2)
Monocausalists, Multicausalists, and Germ Theory
111(19)
Monocausalists and Multicausalists
111(2)
Mayrhofer and the Beginnings of Germ Theory in Relation to Puerperal Fever
113(1)
The Views of Dr Barnes and Professor Leishman
114(4)
The Meetings in Paris and London
118(2)
Pasteur and Hervieux
120(4)
Pasteur and Doleris
124(1)
Should Lying-in Hospitals be Abolished?
125(5)
Lister and Antisepsis
130(21)
The Story of Antisepsis
130(1)
Listerian Antisepsis in Surgical Practice
131(3)
Listerian Antisepsis in Obstetrics
134(11)
On Reputations, Statues, and Prizes: The Resurrection of Semmelweis
145(6)
Puerperal Fever in the Early Twentieth Century
151(18)
The Optimism Arising from Antisepsis
151(1)
The Decline in Puerperal Fever between 1890 and 1912
152(3)
Puerperal Fever and Midwives in North-West Europe
155(5)
Puerperal Fever, Midwives, and General Practitioners
160(4)
General Practice and Midwifery in the Early 1900s
164(1)
Puerperal Fever, 1910--1935
165(4)
Puerperal Fever: A Curable Disease
169(20)
Immunotherapy and Chemotherapy
169(1)
Paul Ehrlich and German Research
170(2)
Almroth Wright and British Research
172(2)
Domagk and Prontosil
174(3)
Colebrook and the Introduction of the Sulphonamides
177(6)
The Impact of the Sulphonamides
183(4)
Post-antibiotic Epidemics of Puerperal Fever
187(2)
The Epidemiology of Puerperal Fever
189(25)
Endemic and Epidemic Puerperal Fever
189(2)
Mortality due to Puerperal Fever
191(5)
The Group A Streptococcus
196(5)
The Carrier State
201(3)
Secular Trends and Virulence
204(1)
The Relationship of Puerperal Fever to other Streptococcal Diseases
205(7)
Conclusion
212(2)
Select Bibliography 214(17)
Index 231

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