Lucille H.

SUMMARY: Lucille, age 41, died on November 4, 1910 after an abortion perpetrated by a Chicago midwife.

LucilleH.jpg“Lucille,” identified in the source document as “Mrs. H.,” was 41 years old and three months pregnant when she had an abortion perpetrated by a Chicago midwife in mid-August of 1910.

On September 7, she was admitted to Cook County Hospital. She did not appear to be very ill but reported a pain in her right side. Her pulse was 118, her respirations 24, her temperature 101.4. On examination she had a mass in her pelvis extending upward to her navel.

“The patient held her own for five days when she was subjected to operative treatment. An attempt was made to curette the uterus but it required too much force to dilate the cervix.” A surgical incision was made into her abdomen, which revealed several “encapsulated pockets of foul pus.” During the surgery, which took just over an hour, the abscesses and abdominal cavity were drained.

For a week following the surgery, Lucille was given massive amounts of morphine for her pain. She “failed steadily and succumbed on November 4 to general peritonitis and exhaustion.”

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 no woman of this age with a surname beginning with H who died on November 4, 1910,