Hints from the Health Department. Leaflet from the archive of the Society of Medical Officers of Health. Credit: Wellcome Collection, London
Report for the year 1921 of the Medical Officer of Health
Assistance with Dentures.
Extractions with local anaesthetic were made in 33 cases (women) and with
general anaesthetic in 50 cases, including 17 children. Fillings were provided in 39
cases, including 15 children. Dentures, 17 upper and 11 lower, were provided for 24
patients, 23 of whom contributed towards the cost.
An enquiry was made into the present circumstances of all the illegitimate
babies (56) whose birth was registered in 1921.
Four lived with their mothers who remained in their parent's home; if in
these circumstances the mother has to go out to work the grandmother minds the
Four lived with their mothers; these women had work which enabled them
to stay at home and keep their babies with them.
Two lived with their mothers who went out to work, the baby being in a
creche in the daytime.
Three were boarded out with foster-mothers, two of whom were registered,
the other being the baby's grandmother.
Five babies died in early infancy.
Eleven were living with both parents, who lived together permanently.
In 27 instances no information could be obtained; the majority of these
mothers were domestic servants employed in hotels or boarding houses who had
entered a hospital or infirmary for the confinement and had not returned to their
In view of the high death rate among illegitimate babies it is regrettable that
so large a proportion of the babies born of Holborn unmarried mothers cannot
be visited so as to offer them the benefit of Child Welfare Schemes.
During the year there were 19 still births in the Borough. Enquiries were made
in the cases of fourteen. A definite reason can be assigned for the death of twelve;
seven were due to difficult labour, two more to accidents during labour, the cord in one
of the cases prolapsed before the arrival of the attendant, in the other the death was
due to a strangulating cord. In two other cases the mothers suffered antepartum
haemorrhages, in another the mother was chronically invalid.
Information was obtained as to the presentation in six of the deaths due to
difficult labour. Four were vertex presentations; one a breech; in the remaining
case the feet presented.