Eclampsia has been recognised for many years as
one of the most formidable risks which the childbearing
woman has to face. Stroganoff states (Journ.
of Obst. and Gyn. Brit. Emp. 1923 xxx p.1.) that out
of every 10,000 labours four women die of Eclampsia
and that 5600 women die annually of Eclampsia in Europe
alone. From the Registrar's Reports for England and
Wales, Scotland and Ireland it appears that on an
average 600 women die annually in these islands of
Eclampsia. Further, since 70% of these women are
pregnant for the first time, 400 women die with their
first child, the majority, had they lived, would probably
have had other children. The foetal mortality is,
and, since the disease frequently appears while the child'..
is still premature, must remain, extremely high.
Williams (Obstetrics. 5th Edition.p.622) estimates it
at 50%, but considers that not more than a third of the
children leave Hospital alive as owing to prematurity
the neo -natal death rate is also high. At the Royal
Maternity Hospital, Edinburgh, 44% of the children of
eclamptic mothers left the Hospital alive. Therefore
since it attacks mainly the young child bearing woman
and the foetus drawing to maturity, Eclampsia, although
relatively a rare disease, is of importance to every
race in which it occurs.
If further, the surviving mothers are incapacitated either
partially or totally for further chill-bearing,
the increased gravity of the disease is at once
As regards Albuminuria of Pregnancy the position
is rather different. Eclampsia is always severe; the
severity of Albuminuria varies from a mild Albuminuria
in the later weeks of pregnancy to "pre-eclampsia".
The prognosis for the Mother under efficient treatment
is fairly good but for the foetus, owing to the
frequency of premature labour and still birth, it remains
poor. Albuminuria during pregnancy is, however,
an extremely common condition. It occurs,
excluding the physiological Albuminuria of labour, in
3.5% of all pregnant women. (Eden and Holland Manual
of Midwifery 6th Edit. p 96 et seq.) If it affects
the health of so large a percentage of child-bearing
women, it is a serious disease especially if the ill-effects
should persist after the pregnancy. If it
impaired the ability of these women for the bearing of
future healthy, full-time children, it is from the
point of view of the race and not of the individual in
some respects an even more serious disease than Eclampsia.
An attempt has therefore been made to find out
whether a woman who has suffered from one of the later
toxaemias of pregnancy is damaged either in regard to
to her subsequent health or her child-bearing capacity
and with this object in view the following investigation
has been carried out.