Puerperal Convulsions

W. W. WELLINGTON
1858 Boston Medical and Surgical Journal  
Few diseases are tho occasion of more anxiety to the physician than puerperal convulsions. They are frightful, and they arc dangerous. One fourth of all the cases terminate fatally, and, in a large proportion of them, the children are born dead. Occasioning, as they do, great alarm and terror among friends and attendants, there is the greater need of coolness and sound judgment on the part of the physician. Seven cases have occurred in my own practice, four of which were with first children,
more » ... first children, and two of which terminated fatally. I will give an abstract of these cases, and add the results of my own experience with regard to treatment. Case I.-Miss C, aged 20; unmarried; first labor. Having arrived at the full term of pregnancy, she was found one morning in convulsions. She went to bed in good health, the night previous, and it was not known when or how tho convulsions began. I saw her about 7, A.M. ; labor had commenced; there wero distinct uterine contractions, and the os uteri had begun to dilate. The convulsions continued at irregular intervals, tho patient, all the while, being entirely unconscious. Tho pulse was rapid, the head hot, and the face swollen and flushed. «The child being dead, as soon as tho mouth of the womb was sufficiently dilated, the head was perforated, and delivery effected, though with much difficulty. No improvement took place in the woman : the convulsions continued, and she died early the next morning, twenty hours from the time of my first visit. This woman was bled freely; the bowels were evacuated by mercurial purgatives, aided by enemata. Cold was applied to the head, and a solution of tartarized antimony was administered internally. All treatment, however, was apparently of no effect.
doi:10.1056/nejm185812020591801 fatcat:wunbvgbcx5djhoaeftsx7cz3o4