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should fail to instruct and impress those in charge of infants with the importance of a strict compliance with sanitary laws, and not as is 'but too frequently the case, through carelessness and sometimes ignorance, allow mothers and nurses to subject these tender beings to the most pernicious influences.
In treating of congenital malformations and accidents, the author entertains a not commonly received view of the pathological cause giving rise to the nondevelopment of the lateral processes of the vertebræ in spina bifida. The disease he considers as a true congenital dropsy either of the spine or of the spine and brain; “the deficiency in the vertebræ,' as well as the exterual tumor, being the result of the acuumulation and pressure of the fluid within the spinal or cranial cavity, and that when the tumor in the spine is not formed, death usually occurs within a month, with symptoms of hydrocephalus.
Pennsylvania Hospital Reports, Vol. 1, 1868. Philadelphia: Lindsay & Blakiston.
The inauguration of publishing annual volumes of Hospital Reports, thus placing the acquired experience of hospital practice upon a permanent record, and making it possible for the profession at large to avail itself of the same, cannot fail to meet with universal approbation and support. Works of this character have been issued by the principal hospitals of England and upon the continent with great success. This is the first effort of the kind in this country, so far as we are informed, but we are assured that reports from some others may soon be axpected.
The present volume embraces twenty-three articles, prepared by the hospital staff, arranged by Drs. J. M. Da Costa and William Hunt.
The introductory paper prepared by Dr. Charles D. Meigs, is a brief sketch of the bistory of the Pennsylvania hospital and reminiscences of the physicians and surgeons who served in the same. Dr. H, Agnew follows with a careful and well-considered paper on the history and treatment of laceration of the female perineum. The other members of the staff have equally well discharged their tasks, presenting in an exact statement the experience of the past years in their respective departments. The action of Narcine has been made the subject of a monograph by Dr. J. M. Da Costa, from whose paper we make the following extract:
« On the skin it produces but little effect, far less perspiration than morphia or the other ingredients of opium.
It does not, as a rule, give rise to headache, or to nausea and vomiting and loss of appetite; but it is an exaggeration to say that these effects do not accur. Moreover they seem to bappen more constantly or markedly in women than in men. It does not constipate, may even relax the bowels.
It is not an excitant; yet the face is not uncommonly flushed after its use in decided doses. Scarcely any action on the pupils is observable.
No marked influence on the temperature, respiration and pulse is perceptiblo subsequent to its employment. So far as noticed it somewhat lowered the temperature, and slightly lessened the pulse; the latter, however, not constantly.
No such decided effect as has been ascribed to it on the urinary functions, was met with. In so far as it was seen to have any action, it seemed to diminish the tendency to frequent urination, rather than to suppress the amount of secretion, And with reference to its soporific anodyne properties, it appeared in doses in which morphia is prescribed, totally destitute of either; and in larger doses uncertain and often palpably inert. It dods not allay irritation."
What will the French pbysicians say to this, with whom Narcine is fashionable? Di. Eulenberry prefers it to any other narcotic, and gives it in neuralgia, iritis, cystitis, orchitis, and all painful diseases, stating that it prodnces sleep. and is preferable to morphia, acting pleasantly when morphia fails.
Books and Pamphlets Received.
The Diagnosis, Pathology and Treatinent of Diseases of Women, including the
Diagnosis of Pregnancy. By Graily Hewitt, M. D., London, F. R. C. P., etc. First American from the second London edition, revised and enlarged, with one hundred and sixteen illustrations. Philadelphia: Lindsay & Blakiston, 1868.
For sale by Theodore Butler. A Practical Treatise on the Diseases of Women. By T. Gaillard Thomas, M. D.,
Professor of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women and Children in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, etc., with two hundred and nineteen illustrations. Philadelphia: Henry C. Lea, 1868. For sale by Breed, Lent
& Co. Ihe Principies and Practice of Obstetrics. By Gunning S. Bedford, A. M., M. D.,
Professor of Obstetrics, tbe Diseases of Women and Children,' and Clinical Obstetrics in the University of New York, etc., illustrated by four colored lithographic plates and ninety-one wood engravings. Fourth edition, carefully revised throughout and enlarged. New York: Wm. Wood & Co., 1868. From
the author. Atlas of Venereal Diseases. By A. Cullerier, Surgeon to the Hospital du Midi,
etc. Translated from the French, with notes and additions, by Freeman J. Bumstead, M. D., Professor of Venereal Diseases in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, etc., with about one hundred and fifty beautifully colored figures on twenty-six plates. Part 1, to be completed in five parts.
Philadelphia: Henry C. Lea, 1868. For sale by Theodore Butler. Address before the Philadelphia County Medical Society, delivered January 23,
1867, agreeable to a provision of the Constitution. By Wm. Mayburry, M. D., at the close of his official term as President. Published by order of the Society.
Cæsarian Section.—Prof. Wm. Warren Green reports in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal for February, a successful case, in wbich mother and child were saved. The details of the case are interesting, and if possibie, we shall republish it in our next journal.
Ophthalmic Dispensary in Toronto.—This institution was opened last May, and during the first six months there was an average daily attendance of fifteen patients. It is simply a dispensary, no beds or hospital accommodations are yet provided. It is organized under a board of directors, chosen by the benevolent who have contributed to its support. The medical staff under its present organization is as follows:-Surgeon, A. M. Rosebrugh, M. D.; Assistant Snrgeon, R. A. Reeve, M. D.; Consulting Surgeon, W. H. Cumming, M. D. The success of its first year's operation shows the beneficence of the design and the faithfulness and fidelity of those to whom its interests have been entrusted.
A New Property of Bromide of Potassium, Dr. Alexander J. Stone of Boston, announces a new property in Bromide of Potassium—the power of checking the Reflex Nausea indueed by the adminisration of Anästhetics. He claims that nausea is the almost universal effects of other, and then relates thirty cases where it was either prevented or relieved by the administration of thirty or forty grains of this drug.
His cases appear to sustain bis conclusions, and still it remains for more extensive trial to prove them correct. His observations were made by the advice and partially under the direction of Prof. H. R. Storer, and his cases are well related.
Bromide of potassium is having its benefit,” and must yet suffer the reputation of doing a great many very remarkable things, and after having attained a desirable reputation, possibly, will sink into almost complete forgetfulness, something like its countless predecessors.
It is not well to be too skeptical in the effects of remedies, neither is it wise to accept as wholly true, what may appear true of their medicinal properties. There is hardly a single drug in the whole materia medica really having the properties they are represented to possess, and this fact should place us ou guard in all our experiments to determine the effects of medicines. Ether dues not in our experience “invariably" produce nausea and vomiting. If given, as in Doctor Stone's cases, after fasting, it more rarely produces this effect, and if patients vomit and thus empty the stomach, nausea and vomiting often cease from that time without the bromide of potassium. We most heartily thank Dr. Stone for the suggestion, and accept it, subject however to future trial. Before writing down as one of the reliable effects of this remedy, “a power to check reflex nausea after anæsthesia,” indeed before positively saying that it possesses many of the properties now attributed to it, we would respectfully suggest that its effects be carefully noted in greater number of cases. It is said to have worked wonderful cures on all the diseases of the nervous system, both functional and organic. It is prescribed with as little discrimination as any drug was ever given, and properties attributed to it as varying and unreal as were ever attributed to any medicine. We believe it has some valuable remedial properties, but we do not believe that it has half as many as some suppose.
New Medical Journals, “Half-Yearly Compendium of Medical Sciences.”—This journal is designed to embrace a digest of the whole field of medical literature with a view to that conciseness and practicability which best suits the general practitioner. Edited by Drs. S. W. Butler and D. G. Brinton, Philadelphia. Price $3 per annum, in advance.
“New Orleans Journal of Medicine.”—This medical periodical is a consolidation of the two medical journals, lately published in New Orleans. It is to be published quarterly, and to be under the editorial charge of Dr. W. S. Mitchell, M. D. and W. H. Lewis, M. D. Price $6 in advance.
“L'Evénement Médical.”—This weekly journal is under the editorship of Prof. Piorry, France. The numbers are regularly received by us in exchange. Prof. Piorry has recently been elected member of the Academy of Medicine.
"The Medical Repertory.”The first number of this journal has been received Each number is to contain thirty-two pages. It is designed to make this journal the exponent of the medical profession of the West. Prof. J. A. Thacker has the editorial management.
ART. I. —Abstract of Proceedings of the Buffalo Medical Association.
TUESDAY EVENING, February 4th, 1868. On motion of Dr. Johnson, Dr. J. F. Miner. was elected Chairman of the meeting. Members present--Drs. Miner, Little, C. F. A. Nichell, Mackay, Abbott, Edmonds, Gay, Kamerling, Henry Nichell, Eastman, Wetmore and Johnson.
The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved.
Dr. Henry Nichell read the following Essay upon the treatment of Asiatic Cholera: Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Buffalo Medical Association:
In a former meeting you have appointed me to the honor of reading an Essay on some medical theme this evening. In compliance with your invitation I shall propose to you, observations and facts concerning a certain plan of treatment of Asiatic cholera adopted by the writer during the epidemics of 1852 and 1854, in the city of Buffalo. I sincerely hope the subject selected, although it may perhaps dissappoint your just expectations, is yet worthy of your earnest and thoughtful consideration.
All modes devised for the prevention and cure of this formidable malady, have been censured by modern and quite recent writers, more or less severely, and I may add in part, perhaps,
vol. 7, No. 9—42.
justly. It was the late venerable Dr. Velpeau, who boldly declared before the Academy of Medicine in Paris, “that we know nothing more of treatment of cholera now than on its first appearance in 1832.” “All our remedies and modes of practice,” he says, “have failed.” You will, therefore, pardon me when I frankly confess that it is not my fortune to offer to you any superior method or plan as regards the treatment of the disease in question, but to present to you simply “observations and facts" about what had been termed the treatment of cholera with calomel and opium, as employed in the second stage, and also to a certain extent, in the state of collapse of epidemic cholera. This mode of treatment has of late been bitterly attacked and condemned by some eminent authorities, although not a few articles upon the subject also show its enthusiastic advocates and able defenders.
Dr. R. Nelson, in his monograph on Asiatic cholera, page 174, does not hesitate to use the following language about physicians prescribing such agents, especially calomel:
"So potent were a wrong education, a defective physiology, a badly acquired habit, a blind faith in false doctrines, and a perni. cious obstinacy in adhering to habit, that almost ali physicians made use of calomel. One gave a grain, with or without opium, every half an hour, another two or five grains, finding these doses inefficient, ten to twenty grains; others, bolder, gave half a drachm, one or two drachm doses. Should one or two patients out of three (the average number) recover, the recoveries were boasted of, as cures.”
For a long time the small, the medium and the heroic dose doctors published how successful had been their practice. In time, however, this abuse of calomel declined, but it is not yet extinct among that numerous class of practitioners who cannot rise above the grade of routinists or mere medicators.
Again, Drs. E. and A. B. Whitney, in their treatise on the subject, page 112, speak as follows: “Has calomel any influence or power to arrest this disease, to quiet the nervous system, relieve the cramps or restore warmth to the body? Its specific action, as far as known, can have no tendency whatever to relieve the system in any essential particular, or stay the progress of disease, or delay its inevitable result, if it remains unsubdued by the action of other remedies.