Chapter

Puerperal Fever in the Early Twentieth Century

Irvine Loudon

in The Tragedy of Childbed Fever

Published in print January 2000 | ISBN: 9780198204992
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191676444 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198204992.003.0010
Puerperal Fever in the Early Twentieth Century

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This chapter discusses the reduction in puerperal fever mortality in Great Britain during the 20th century. The improvement in the prevention and treatment of the disease is attributed to the development of vaccines, antisepsis, and important research on the biology of the streptococcus. Between 1890 and 1912, maternal mortality was significantly reduced. From about twenty-five deaths for every 10,000 births in the 1890s it was reduced to only about thirteen or fourteen in England and Wales and sixteen or seventeen in Scotland.

Keywords: puerperal fever; mortality; Great Britain; vaccines; antisepsis; streptococcus; maternal mortality

Chapter.  7906 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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