Friday, June 03, 2016

Self-Induced in Chicago, 1910

"Audrey," identified in the source document as "Mrs. C.," was 31 when she used a rubber catheter and wire to self-induce an abortion in mid-April of 1910. Of course, I have no way of knowing why Audrey didn't avail herself of any of Chicago's many physicians and midwives who ran quasi-open abortion practices.

Three days after using the catheter, due to bleeding, Audrey was curetted by doctor. This didn't control the bleeding, so a second curretage was performed four weeks after the abortion.

After this second procedure, Audrey suffered from chills, fever, and weakness. She was admitted to Cook County Hospital on May 21, with a weak and irregular pulse of 120, respirations of 32, and temperature of 98.6.

Audrey's eyes were sunken. Her abdomen was neither distended nor rigid, but there was some tenderness in the lower right area of her abdomen. There was a firm mass palpable in that area. She suffered from vomiting.

She was so weak from blood loss that she was unable to fight off infection that had most likely been introduced during the second curretage. She died on June 3.

I could find only one Chicago death on that date. However, there is absolutely no other record I can find of that name. I will continue to try to identify "Audrey C."

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