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Thread: Cause of Death

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    Default Cause of Death

    Below is an extract from the death certificate of one of my grandfather's sisters in 1903 when she was 6 years old.

    She died in a slate mining village in North Wales, as you see the principle cause of death is quite legible, so I am really looking for a bit more information and hoping that there might be someone with more medical knowledge than I.

    It talks about "supressed scarlet fever", and then some form of kidney infection, and then the perforation of her stomach. What I don't understand is how the latter would have occurred. Was it common risk with scarlet fever? Why was there a need for an inquest?

    Any pointers would be most useful. Thanks.







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    From what I can glean from Google Scarlet Fever can affect the kidneys hence the nephritis and uraemia. If the child was being given lots of drinks because of the fever and the kidneys couldn't cope with the volume of fluid it would have built up in the stomach, possibly leading to the perforation. It looks like suppressed scarlet fever is when the patient has all the symptoms but no rash has broken out. What an awful way to die, poor child.

    Emeltee

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    Megan Roberts (11-01-2018)

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    Hi Megan,
    To answer your last question first. By law all sudden deaths must be reported to the coroner, who then decides if an inquest should be held. It may have been that the death did not follow the normal course of events for Scarlet fever.

    As Emeltee said Scarlet fever can affect the kidneys, it may also produce vomiting, which if severe may rupture the stomach. Some treatments for Scarlet fever irritated the stomach and also induced vomiting.

    Regards,
    Malcolm.

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    Megan Roberts (11-01-2018)

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    Thanks to both Malcolm and Emeltee. As Emeltee said, what an awful way to die, but I fear that probably it was part of tragedy of the times. She died on the 20 Sep 1903, on the 11 Oct 1902 one of her brothers had died from TB, and on 3 Oct 1903, her mother went into premature labour and bled to death. All round a pretty terrible tale.

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