Chapter

The Epidemiology of Puerperal Fever

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/9780198204992.003.0012
The Epidemiology of Puerperal Fever

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This chapter reviews the epidemiology and some of the main features of the history of childbed or puerperal disease. Puerperal fever became recognized as a specific disease only during the first half of the 18th century when midwifery started to become part of regular medical practice and lying-in hospitals were established. It discusses endemic and epidemic puerperal fever, the trend in puerperal fever mortality from 1859 to 1940, the importance of microbiological research on Group A streptococcus.

Keywords: puerperal disease; midwifery; lying-in hospitals; mortality; Group A streptococcus; epidemiology

Chapter.  10108 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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