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GAZZETTA MEDICA ITALIANA ARCHIVIO PER LE SCIENZE MEDICHE

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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2005 February;164(1):69-72

language: English

The labor and death of HRH Princess Charlotte Augusta and the tragic end of her doctor

Papaloucas C.

General State Hospital Georgios Papanikolaou, Kimi, Greece


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The aim of the present study is first to add an alternative theory to the cause of death of HRH the princess Charlotte Augusta on November the 6th 1817 and second to judge the obstetrical practice according to the views and beliefs of that time by using the records of events of her labor and death. The “watch and wait” attitude put into practice at the time was very much respected and obstetricians very seldom intervened in the early days of the 19th century. Even forceps, which were in use at that time and could have been applied at the proper stage of labor with a probable good result for the child and HRH, were not used. The cause of the Princess’s death was quite obscure and even the postmortem examination of the body did not throw any light on it. In the author’s opinion it was most probably due to diffuse intravascular coagulation. The impact of her death on the professional and personal future of her physician is also commented upon.

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