Chickenpox is the disease of childhood which is taken least seriously by the laity and by the medical profession. The illness is usually so lightly considered that no treatment is deemed necessary, and ordinary precautions to prevent its spread are omitted. At the Willard Parker Hospital we encountered so many and so varied a group of complications among patients with varicella that the present study was undertaken to determine their frequency and character.
The study includes the cases of the 2,534 patients with varicella seen at the Willard Parker Hospital during the five-year period from Jan. 1, 1929, to Dec. 31, 1933. One hundred and thirty-three patients, or 5.2 per cent, suffered from some type of complication. For a number of reasons the incidence of complications would be higher in a group of hospitalized patients than among patients kept at home. The occurrence of a more or less serious complication