Hints from the Health Department. Leaflet from the archive of the Society of Medical Officers of Health. Credit: Wellcome Collection, London
[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Walthamstow]
This disease at no time of the year assumed epidemic prevalence, and
the deaths attributable to it were mainly in persons of advanced years.
The greatest number of deaths took place in the first and second
quarters of the year, and were mainly influenced by conditions affecting
the respiratory organs.
Of the 16 deaths registered, one was that of a child under 1 year of
age, 2 of children between 5 and 15 years, the remainder occurring
among old people.
No death was registered from this disease.
From Table IV., following page 80, it will be noticed that 11 deaths
are attributable to "Accidents and Diseases of Parturition."
Although these deaths were in lying-in women, no notification was
received that any of them suffered from Puerperal Fever.
The conditions to which the name "Puerperal Fever" may be given
are numerous, but evidently are not interpreted by all medical men
In addition to Sæpticemia Pyæmia, Septic Peritonitis, and Septic
Metritis, "all septic inflammation in the pelvis, occurring as the direct
result of child-birth," should be so classed.
Investigation was made of all cases that might possibly come under
this heading, and the usual precautions were advised to be taken by the
The Mid-wives Act, 1902, was called into being in the interests of
lying-in women of the poorer classes, but it is to be feared that, in the
absence of a doctor, our poorer women in their confinements will run
a greater risk than ever.
Five deaths resulted from Puerperal Fever in 1908, and 3 in 1907.