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

Caroline M De Costa
Med J Aust 2002; 177 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2002.tb05004.x
Published online: 9 December 2002

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.



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


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