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Cause of death - what does it mean?

Discussion in 'Medicine' started by Susan, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. Susan

    Susan LostCousins Member

    I have just received a death certificate and am curious as to what the cause of death actually means.

    The deceased was a 44 year old blacksmith who died in 1853. The cause of death as written on the death certificate is "Attack of fever during the collapsed stage. Certified".

    Attack of fever is obvious, but what does "collapsed stage" mean?

    I've attached an image of the cause of death in case I've mis-read it.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. SuzanneD

    SuzanneD LostCousins Star

    The term seems to be associated with cholera - and 1853 is during one of the great cholera pandemics.
     
  3. Susan

    Susan LostCousins Member

    Thank you so much. I had googled collapse(d) stage but of course all I got were results for performers who had collapsed while on stage. Adding the word cholera gave some meaningful results.

    One informative article was taken from a 1911 medical encyclopaedia. There were two types of cholera described, simple and malignant or Asian. Malignant cholera had three stages - the first or premonitory stage, the second or collapse stage, and the third stage which isn't given a name in the article.
    Another article from the British Medial Journal in 1865 entitled 'On the treatment of Asiatic cholera in the stage of collapse' goes on to describe a treatment for the infection.

    It would seem that the blacksmith had malignant/Asian cholera. If there was a cholera pandemic in 1853, everyone would have known what collapse stage meant so there would be no need to add the word cholera to his death certificate.
     

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