Maeve S.

SUMMARY: Maeve, age 25, died on May 10, 1910 at Cook County Hospital after an abortion perpetrated by a Chicago midwife.

MaeveS.jpg“Maeve,” identified in the source document as “Mrs. S.,” was 25 years old when she had an abortion perpetrated by a Chicago midwife. She passed only the fetus, not the placenta.

Four days later, Maeve was suffering severe chills and high fever. She was bleeding so heavily that two physicians were called in to care for her. They packed her uterus and vagina to try to control the bleeding.

On May 9, 1910 she was admitted to Cook County Hospital with a weak, thready pulse of 114 and respirations of 24. Her temperature was 97.8 and her skin was cold and bluish. She was vomiting and was bleeding through the packing.

Four hours after admission, Maeve’s pulse rose to 140. The uterine and vaginal packing were removed and, without any anesthetics, the remaining placental tissue was removed from her uterus with a cleaned finger. No instruments were used.

Maeve’s temperature fell to 96 degrees. She died on May 10, with her death attributed to the massive blood loss.

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 24-year-old woman with a surname beginning with S who died in Chicago on that date: Alice Strickland.