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General => The Common Room => Topic started by: daviesalden on Monday 12 April 04 21:35 BST (UK)

Title: medical explanation required please
Post by: daviesalden on Monday 12 April 04 21:35 BST (UK)
Hi List
I have just rcvd a death cert for my grandmother which shows the causes of death as:
a)Septicenia
b)abortion
c)evacuation of uterus

This was in 1931 and abortions were not legal so is this a miscarriage by another name or was this something 'back street' that went wrong. The husband was the manager of a sugar mill so i must assume they were at least middle class, as opposed to poor. She was 41 at the time of death and her children thus far were 17, 15 & 11 yrs old.

Thks John
Title: Re: medical explanation required please
Post by: Chris in 1066Land on Monday 12 April 04 22:08 BST (UK)
Hi John

Have just consulted my Oracle to give you the following:

I have just rcvd a death cert for my grandmother which shows the causes of death as:
a)Septicenia
b)abortion
c)evacuation of uterus


Taken from Newnes Family Health Encyclepaedia

Septicaemia condition of blood-poisoning due to the entry of disease germs into the bloodstream where they continue to live. The original infection may be in some wound of the skin, apparently trivial, or from some inflammation of a bone, joint, vein or heart valve.
Abortion This is the term used to denote the sudden termination of a pregnancy during the first three months. When expulsion from the womb takes place from the fourth to the seventh months, it is described as a miscarriage, whilst after the seventh month, the term premature delivery is used.
Uterus is of course the womb, (evacuation I think is self explanatory)


Feel free to make up your own mind

Chris in 1066Land
Title: Re: medical explanation required please
Post by: daviesalden on Wednesday 14 April 04 23:21 BST (UK)
Thks for that Chris
This is what we knew anyway - it is more a question of was this an illegal termination or was it terminated due to her age - I thought that a medic might give me a slant on this due to the order of causes of death.

John
Title: Re: medical explanation required please
Post by: Jane Masri on Thursday 15 April 04 06:57 BST (UK)
John, I'm no expert but it could be she had a hysterectomy whilst in the early stages of pregnancy (perhaps unknown to her) and died of septicaemia, a complication of the surgery.
Even though abortions were illegal a woman might have a 'Dilation & Curratage' (D & C) not sure if I've spelt that right, in the early months of pregnancy, which was sometimes used as a guise for a 'legal' abortion.  In this case, it might have gone wrong.
we have a doctor in the family, so if I catch them, I will see if she can give her two pennyworth!
Jane
Title: Re: medical explanation required please
Post by: Sylviaann on Thursday 15 April 04 15:07 BST (UK)
I think you are making too much of this.  As Chris has told you Abortion is the normal term for a baby lost in the first three months.  We now call it a miscarriage because abortion is a dirty word.  I think she lost her baby and got septacaemia because she didn't get a D & C.  Women were not looked after in those days and she would probably not have thought anything of it until it was too late.

Sylviaann
Title: Re: medical explanation required please
Post by: Boongie Pam on Thursday 15 April 04 16:16 BST (UK)
I'm pretty sure if it was as a result of an illegal act it would mention an autopsy or inquest or at least the illegality.  It would in Scotland - not sure about England though.

For interest in Scotland there are lots of different causes of death given which amount to the same thing.

I've seen early delivery, miscarriage, abortive gestate and others.  As others have said abortion does not necerssarily mean a deliberate act therefore you're stuck with not knowing unfortunately.



Title: Re: medical explanation required please
Post by: Jane Masri on Saturday 17 April 04 09:59 BST (UK)
John, I've spoken to my Niece, who is an MD and she says the following.  Going by the wording, it would appear that your grandmother had a partial miscarriage, nessitating a D & C, which probably went wrong, possibly perforating the uterus which caused the septicaemia, which caused her untimely death.  So, I would think this was not any 'back street' job that went wrong.
Hope that sets your mind at rest,
Jane