« PreviousContinue »
in this. The open-air treatment is all right, but it must be carried out by right methods. All early cases of consumption which have failed to recover by outdoor treatment, must lay the blame to faulty, incomplete methods in carrying out the details of the treatment. Jones, who recovered, you will remember, did change his location every day, having no tent to bother him, and in doing so, avoided the fatal mistake of Brown. How about Smith? The case of Smith is of the greatest importance. He had recovered, you will remember, and returned to his home feeling fine,—back to what? To the very same plagueridden room in which he had first contracted the disease,—a room reeking with tubercular germ-life, and which had been occupied, it was learned later, by five different consumptives at various times. The disease got a hold on him a second time, for the simple reason that he came back to the original source of his disease. He should have sought new quarters; or else the house, and particularly the room he occupied, should have
been disinfected, before being occupied by him or any one else. These three cases cited are but typical instances. There are thousands upon thousands of Browns, and Joneses, and Smiths, living and dying this very day, whose story, if told in its true light, would match exactly the simple, but pathetic history, of these three men.
Before taking up the important matter of prevention and cure, the temptation is strong to give some detailed criticism as to what has been thus far accomplished as a result of legislative enactment in its specific bearing on tuberculosis. Much could be said on the mooted question of the "tuberculin test" of dairy herds, but lack of space forbids. Aside from that, any legislation enacted, or even so much as suggested, has pertained almost exclusively to the "spitting nuisance," and the use of the public drinking cup. These crusades are certainly harmless enough, and do good in the way of inculcating good manners and etiquette, but how about their utility as regards actual results? Any one. after a moment's thought, can answer that question, but we wish to consider it in the light of information derived from existing conditions in other countries. In the cities of the most enlightened of European countries, antispitting ordinances are unnecessary, because the people there are not addicted to the habit. This is true of London, Paris, Berlin and Vienna. Another thing, no European in the cities mentioned ever thinks of using any but his own drinking cup. This is not said for the purpose of praising Europeans at the expense of our own belittlement, but merely as a prelude to the statement that the European mortality from tuberculosis is as great as ours, and in some instances, greater. The conclusion drawn is, if all legislation thus far enacted against the spread of tuberculosis were stringently enforced to the very letter, we would note little or no diminution in the ravages of the disease.
The simpler the method for the prevention or cure of a disease, the better,— but the more difficult it is to secure its
adoption. The extreme simplicity of a method is often against it. People are so accustomed to "taking something" for all ills of the flesh, that it is not easy for them to change their habits of thought on the subject. Besides, the public is so used to having something mysteriously complicated thrust at it, at so much per "thrust," that it is almost impossible to bring this same public to the realization that any one is sufficiently interested in the welfare of the people, to offer them something for nothing. And too often they are quite right. Fortunately, the idea here presented offers no opportunity for any material gain.
No one would move into a house which had not been disinfected, in which the very last occupants had just gone through a siege of small-pox. It is important to bear this in mind, whenever one moves into new quarters. Did the last occupants have consumption, or did they not? Nobody knows, or takes the trouble to learn. It is of vast importance to the family about to move in. The only way for the latter to be on the safe side is to act just the same as if the house were reeking with the germs of consumption. What is one to do as a safe-guard? Simply this: Fumigate every room in the house with the vapor given off by heating formaldehyde; wash all floors, windows and wood-work with mild solutions of corrosive sublimate and water. Only after such a chemical cleansing, can the new quarters be considered safe for human habitation.
Is there anything new that can be done for those already afflicted with the disease? By all means. Let these poor sufferers ask themselves, What are the real benefits of "fresh air"? Ideal "fresh air" is that which has its proper proportion of oxygen, and is germ-free. If one afflicted with consumption can possibly have air of this kind in his own home, there is not the shadow of an excuse for leaving it in search of "climate." Let us illustrate. Suppose a man is overcome by illuminating gas, while in his room. The very first thing for his rescuers to do, is to take him out of the room, or let out all the gas. Bearing in mind this comparison and applying it to the consumptive in his own home, there are just two things to do: Either take the consumptive away from the germ-ridden air of his room, or let out the germs. Unfortunately, the latter refuse to go. Sleeping with open windows will not suffice; the air which comes in is not sufficient to drive them from their lodgings on the floors, walls and carpets, not to mention the bed-coverings; nor are the germs kind enough to take
a hint and leave by the open window. In order to make the air of such a room germ-free, there remains just one thing to do: kill the germs by frequent fumigation. How often should this fumigation be done? Daily, if possible, but at least once or twice a week. A very good plan for a consumptive to follow is that of living in alternate rooms on alternate days. By so doing, each room can be fumigated and rendered germ-free on alternate days, as a result of which the consumptive will have the benefits of an absolutely pure air both day and night. Such a course, followed in conjunction with what is already known in the way of good nutrition and hygiene, should afford a home cure for every case of consumption that can be so treated from its earliest discovery. There is no individual who cannot act on the two suggestions here given,—first for prevention, and second for cure.
GREAT attention is being paid at the present time to the erection of thoroughly sanitary and fire-proof residences, railway stations and other buildings and it is maintained that such buildings may be constructed at less cost than with wood; concrete is used as the material and a number of
houses are cast from one set of molds.
An accompanying illustration shows the design and construction of a small concrete house built along the lines of the model home, which received the first gold medal at the International Congress on Tuberculosis held in Wash
ington, D. C. A remarkable feature of this house is that a hose may be used for cleaning, after the furniture, pictures and rugs have been removed, a stream of water being applied to the walls, ceilings and composition floors, which are drained to tile spouts discharging on the lawn. All fixtures are of concrete material, bracketed from the wall, for convenience in sweeping the floors.
There is no wood to shrink or rot, no shelter for vermin or insects, no corners for dirt, all corners being rounded. There is no insurance to pay, no painting required and little or no expense for repairs.
The building is so constructed that the waste heat from the cooking-range is utilized in winter for warming the house. There is no handling of coal or ashes. The coal is hoisted by a simple chain block and dumped through a coal hole on the roof into a large pocket. It is then fed automatically by gravity to the stove which combines, in one concrete fixture, the range, house heater, gas stove and hot water heater. The ashes drop from the fire box into cans which are removed from the outside.
The ice box is arranged for use as a fresh air closet, using no ice in cold weather and designed also to flush out with hose. The garbage system, too, is unique, a cast iron chamber being provided in the
smoke flue, where the waste is dried, then dumped by the use of a damper into the fire box, its fuel value being saved.
The windows are unit size cast iron, of casement type, with transoms over them to regulate ventilation easily. The walls are hollow to prevent dampness, and there are air circulation openings under the roof slab. Fire places are provided in all the rooms and the flues connect around the smoke pipe for natural ventilation.
In this concrete building, construction standard unit collapsible steel forms are used, which are designed to allow change of arrangement and variety in plants, and the "entire house is cast, with walls, floor and partitions, of reinforced concrete. The molds may also be used for any number of duplications of the original building that may be desired.
In the Rosemont railway station, shown at the head of the article, an interesting treatment has been made by the inlay of small marble blocks.