childbed fever


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puerperal

 [pu-er´per-al]
pertaining to a puerpera or to the puerperium.
puerperal fever an infectious, sometimes fatal, disease of childbirth; until the mid-19th century, this dreaded, then-mysterious illness could sweep through a hospital maternity ward and kill most of the new mothers. Today strict aseptic hospital techniques have made the condition uncommon in most parts of the world, except in unusual circumstances such as illegally induced abortion. Called also puerperal sepsis and childbed fever.

Puerperal fever results from an infection, usually streptococcal, originating in the birth canal and affecting the endometrium. This infection can spread throughout the body, causing septicemia. The preliminary symptoms are fever, chills, excessive bleeding, foul lochia, and abdominal and pelvic pain. In acute stages, the pain spreads to the legs and chest; complications may be serious or even fatal. Treatment consists mainly of administration of antibiotics, which in most instances promptly clear up the infection. If the disease has progressed to an acute stage before treatment begins, blood transfusions may be necessary.

pu·er·per·al fe·ver

postpartum sepsis with a rise in fever after the first 24 hours following delivery, but before the eleventh postpartum day.

childbed fever

pu·er·per·al fe·ver

(pyū-er'pĕr-ăl fē'vĕr)
Postpartum sepsis with a rise in temperature after the first 24 hours following delivery, but before the eleventh postpartum day.
Synonym(s): childbed fever.

childbed fever

Infection of the raw inner surface of the womb where the PLACENTA has separated. Also called puerperal sepsis. This once highly dangerous condition is now easily treated with antibiotics.
References in periodicals archive ?
Among the "disease-centred" histories Irvine Loudon's The Tragedy of Childbed Fever offers a valuable contribution to the study of both of obstetric medicine and germ theory.
Loudon, in fact, deflates the Semmelweis myth, suggesting that this controversial physician missed the contagious nature of childbed fever and inappropriately discounted the work of others who were closer to the truth.
The etiology, the concept and the prophylaxis of childbed fever. In: Pest CA, editor.
A successful physician and professor of anatomy at Harvard College, his research into childbed fever virtually ended that scourge.
(*) Ignaz Semmelweis (1818-1865), a Hungarian physician, developed the practice of handwashing in hospitals in order to prevent the spread of childbed fever during delivery.