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The Tragedy of Childbed Fever$
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Irvine Loudon

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198204992

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198204992.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 October 2021

Gordon of Aberdeen

Gordon of Aberdeen

(p.24) 3 Gordon of Aberdeen
The Tragedy of Childbed Fever

Irvine Loudon

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses physician Alexander Gordon of Aberdeen's publication of an account of epidemic of puerperal fever in 1795. His treatise provided the first clear and irrefutable evidence that puerperal fever was a contagious disease closely linked with erysipelas and transmitted from one woman to another by midwives and doctors. His publication provided a detailed description of the disease and his proposed treatment. However, his contemporaries considered Aberdeen's observations about the disease to be too cocksure, too dogmatic, and too provincial to command the respect he deserved.

Keywords:   Alexander Gordon, puerperal fever, epidemic, erysipelas, physician, contagious disease

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