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PUERPERAL FEVER (Lat. puerpera, from ...

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Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 634 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PUERPERAL FEVER (Lat. puerpera, from Auer, child, and parcre, to bring forth), the name given to the varieties of general infection, long regarded as a specific disease (" child-bed fever," " lying-in fever "), to which women are subject after parturition, owing to the genital tract being peculiarly exposed, in septic surroundings, to the invasion of pathogenic bacteria (see SEPSIS). Owing largely to the labours of I. P. Semmelweiss (q.v.) the grave mortality formerly attending this condition has been enormously reduced; and the necessity of rigid cleanliness in the treatment of lying-in cases is fully recognized. When unhappily this is not the case, and infection takes place, its complications must be treated according to the circumstances, antiseptic douching being employed, or preferably curetting the endometrium with a sharp curette and swabbing with disinfectant solution. In definitely septicaemia cases antistreptococcic serum may be useful.
End of Article: PUERPERAL FEVER (Lat. puerpera, from Auer, child, and parcre, to bring forth)
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