Leona M.

SUMMARY: Leona, age 26, died on October 9, 1910 after an abortion perpetrated by a Chicago physician.

LeonaM.jpg“Leona,” identified in the source document as “Miss M.,” was 26 when she had an abortion perpetrated on her by a Chicago physician around the 19th of September, 1910.

On September 27, she was admitted to Cook County Hospital, appearing to be in fair condition, with a pulse of 90, respirations of 20, and temperature of 98.8. She was retaining some placental tissue and experiencing moderate bleeding. “The general condition was excellent.”

For some reason, her doctor decided to curette and irrigate Leona’s uterus on September 27, followed by uterine tamponade, which is the insertion of an inflatable bladder to provide pressure to control bleeding.

“Following this treatment, the patient vomited for three days and her general condition was poor.”

On September 30, Leona’s pulse had risen to an alarming 154, her respirations to 24, and her temperature to 102. Her doctor decided to do surgery, opening Leona’s abdomen and removing her left Fallopian tube, irrigating her pelvic cavity, and inserting a drain through the abdominal wall into her vagina.

This major operation did nothing to improve Leona’s condition. Instead, her condition deteriorated. She died of general peritonitis on October 9.

Source: “A Study Of and Deductions From Fifty Fatal Cases of Puerperal Fever,” Dr. Herbert Marion Stowe, Surgery Gynecology and Obstetrics, 1912, Part 1 and Part 2

Illinois death records show only one woman age 26 with a surname beginning with M who died on that date: Rozaly Milauskis. A domestic servant, she had been born in Russia to Jonas and Rosaly Stadalus Milauskis.