- According to this page on old names for diseases,
hydropsy - a contraction of dropsy
dropsy - edema (fluid retention) often due to heart or kidney disease.
I've seen hydropsy cited a lot for deaths of infants and young children
in my Brooklyn research (back to 1850's) and in the Sabinov records
(back to 1780's). I always took it as fluid retention in the lungs,
probably after pnemonia - in the Brooklyn records where they give two
causes its usually hydropsy first, pnemonia secondary.
I've seen it cited in some adults too, but more children.
You'll probably never know for certain, but the increased number of
deaths from this in the winter months, probably following bouts of
bronchitis or pnemonia is the most logical explaination.
Maura Petzolt Mobile Alabama USA
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