Tag Archives: childbed fever

Washing our hands

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Winter Sunshine, Halkidiki, Greece. Photo by the author Ever since Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, washed his hands before condemning Jesus Christ to death by crucifixion, this simple act of personal sanitation has been used as the figurative icon of a disclaimer, the denial of responsibility. Today, in […]

We are all hospitalized (metaphorically speaking)

F. Gonzalez-Crussi Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. Right section of an etching titled Infirmus eram et visitastis me: (“I was sick and you visited me,” quoted from Matthew 25:36), sometimes attributed to Cornelius Galle. The left section (not shown) has Jesus Christ overseeing the hospital visit. Among the many species of adversity that unavoidably […]

Alexander Gordon and puerperal fever

C. John Scott Aberdeen, Scotland     Plaque on Gordon’s house in Aberdeen The epidemic of childbed (puerperal) fever that struck the city of Aberdeen, Scotland, between December 1789 and March 1792 was unusual. It occurred not in the dirty, crowded, and ill-ventilated wards of lying-in hospitals, but throughout the city and surrounding villages. Serendipitously, […]