Gordon of Aberdeen

Irvine Loudon

in The Tragedy of Childbed Fever

Published in print January 2000 | ISBN: 9780198204992
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191676444 | DOI:
Gordon of Aberdeen

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This chapter discusses physician Alexander Gordon of Aberdeen's publication of an account of epidemic of puerperal fever in 1795. His treatise provided the first clear and irrefutable evidence that puerperal fever was a contagious disease closely linked with erysipelas and transmitted from one woman to another by midwives and doctors. His publication provided a detailed description of the disease and his proposed treatment. However, his contemporaries considered Aberdeen's observations about the disease to be too cocksure, too dogmatic, and too provincial to command the respect he deserved.

Keywords: Alexander Gordon; puerperal fever; epidemic; erysipelas; physician; contagious disease

Chapter.  5338 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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