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Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed 83:F158-F159 doi:10.1136/fn.83.2.F158
  • Perinatal lessons from the past

Dr Carl Credé (1819–1892) and the prevention of ophthalmia neonatorum

  1. Peter M Dunn
  1. Department of Child Health, University of Bristol, Southmead Hospital, Southmead, Bristol BS10 5NB, UK
  1. Professor Dunn

    Carl Siegmund Franz Credé was born in Berlin on 23 December 1819.1 His parents were French, his father holding a senior position in the Ministry of Health and Education. After attending the Friedrich-Wilhelm Gymnasium, Credé studied medicine at the University of Berlin, although he also spent a few months in Heidelberg where Naegele was Professor of Obstetrics. After graduating in 1841 at the age of 22, he visited clinics in Belgium, Paris, Vienna, and Italy, before returning to Berlin to become assistant to Von Busch, the Professor of Obstetrics. Five years later in 1849 Credé was appointed lecturer in obstetrics. His ability as a teacher was soon apparent and in 1852 he was made director of the Berlin School of Midwives and Chief Physician to the Charité Hospital (fig 1). There he was the first in continental Europe to establish a separate department of gynaecology. It was at this time too that he described in 1854 the method for delivering the placenta that is still known by his name.2

    Figure 1

    Carl Siegmund Franz Credé (1819–1892).

    Credé's method of expressing the placenta3

    “Failing natural discharge of the placenta . . . in numerous cases, without exception, successful expulsion of the placenta has been obtained within a quarter or half an hour after the birth of the child, by massage through the abdominal …

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