It was a bright day for women when the leaders of scientific investigation in the medical profession announced this discovery that the infectious fevers were caused by minute organisms, called germs or pathogenic bacilli; for it was only by the discovery of the cause of child-bed fever that we were enabled to prevent its occurrence.
To show the importance of this subject I may simply quote you a few figures. Taking New York alone, from 1886 to 1887 there were 3,342 deaths incident to child-bearing. Of these deaths 1,947 were due to child-bed fever, or the infection to the lying-in period. (See Pepper's System of Medicine, vol. 1.)
Fully half of the deaths, therefore, that occur at the confinement period are due to infection, septicemia, pyemia and from blood poisoning, caused by fever germs getting into the system through the abrasions caused by parturition. And you must also remember that