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"The contagiousness of childbed fever": a short history of puerperal sepsis and its treatment

Caroline M De Costa
Med J Aust 2002; 177 (11): 668-671.

The death of a friend solved a centuries-old, oft-fatal mystery

My doctrine is produced in order to banish the terror from lying-in hospitals, to preserve the wife to the husband, and the mother to the child... — Ignaz Semmelweis, 1861

  • Caroline M De Costa

  • Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Cairns Base Hospital, Cairns, QLD.

Correspondence: Carolinedec@hotkey.net.au

Acknowledgements: 

I would like to thank Dr John Doherty of Vienna for assistance in preparing this article.

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