Medicine: Safer Motherhood

Motherhood has been getting safer & safer for the past 100 years—ever since Lister introduced antiseptic methods and Semmelweis showed how to check the spread of childbed fever. The Journal of the American Medical Association reported last week that in 1949 the U.S. set a proud record by becoming the first large nation with a maternal death rate of less than one per 1,000 live births. In 1948 the rate was 1.2, and in 1933 (before the sulfas and antibiotics) it was 6.2 per 1,000.


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