D.P. Murphy letter to C.B. Davenport, about a study of families in which there have been severe congenital defects (1/11/1934)
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Cold Spring Harbor, ERO, Davenport, 1933-34
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D.P. Murphy letter to C.B. Davenport, about a study of families in which there have been severe congenital defects (1/11/1934)

[emblem] University of Pennsylvania Gynecean Hospital Institute of Gynecologic Research School of Medicine Philadelphia Charles C. Norris, M. D., Director January 11, 1934 Dear Doctor Davenport: I have recently communicated with Dr. Laughlin concerning a problem which we are interested in, and would also like to mention it to you, at the same time asking for any suggestions which you might care to make. We would like to know more about the incidence of congenital defects, and specifically regarding those of the more severe grades which produce either stillbirth or very early death. This results from our desire to answer the question: If a woman gives birth to a monster, is she more likely than some other woman, to have a second similar defective child? For material we are utilizing the files of the State of Pennsylvania Bureau of Vital Statistics. These give us on the death and birth certificates the location of the family and the name of the obstetrician. So far we estimate that the three years of '31, '32 and '33 will give us access to approximately 3,000 records of individuals who have died with congenital defect, within the confines of the state. Of these about 600 will have died in Philadelphia, and 90 per cent of them will have been born in hospitals. From the obstetricians of the cases outside of the city we hope to learn something of the development of the sibs and perhaps something regarding the more distant relatives. We may also learn whether these obstetricians have ever delivered the same woman twice of defective children elsewhere in their practices. We plan to study the maternity hospital records of the city cases, and get into touch by telephone with the obstetrician who delivered private patients. We would very much like to secure a complete family record by house visit of the 600 Philadelphia families. That will depend upon whether we can interest the proper support for the project. [end]

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