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Wurtemberg, where the infants are largely bottle-fed, the death rate is 31713 per thousand. In my own practice I have found the proportion of deaths between children nursed at the breast and fed by the bottle or spoon to be more than 6 to 1 in favor of the breast-fed. I regard it as criminal ignorance that so often, on account of some trivial-or even serious-ailment of a mother, the physician or nurse will insist on weaning the baby, thereby increasing the liability of the mother's ailment to become dangerous by the stoppage of the natural secretion, and also increasing the chances against the child. I am aware that some timid doctor or nurse, who has not learned the secret of reliance upon nature, will say, "Oh, the baby will nurse disease from the mother." I would remind the objector that it will nurse medical relief too, and the danger to the child will be more than compensated by the more ready recovery of the mother. I wish to emphasize this conclusion—that only in the most extreme cases is it either wise or beneficial to advise the substitution of anything to take the place of the natural food of the infant.
While upon this theme I wish to relate an incident that came under my own observation, when in a railroad train in the far-famed sunny South. (I hope no such may ever be seen in Ohio.) At a suburban station near one of the large cities, two ladies entered the car, each bearing a bundle in her arms, which they began to unwrap (as it was a warm September day), the one, a colored lady, soon removed the wrappings from her bundle and disclosed to the fellow-passengers a lovely child, whose features showed it to be the child of the whiteskinned woman, who now exhibited to the disgusted passengers, a fat, wheezy, stub-nosed pug dog. We could readily see that the care of the little child was given over to the colored servant, and the unnatural mother bestowed her anxious care upon her pug. I thought then, and feel no change of heart in that respect, that it is fortunate that an infinitely loving Father ordained the plan of propagation of the species, for if I had the future proliferation of that female to arrange, I would see that her next progeny should be a snub-nosed pug. As a very important part of the conscientious physician's work (while the least remunerative) is that of instruction as to the avoidance of the causes of disease, let every one insist upon his patient following the dictates of nature as far as possible, and show them the great danger, as well as the absurdity, of permitting the cow or the goat to take the place of the God-given right of motherhood.
The next most important cause of infant mortality, and against which there is but little chance of defense, is that of extremes of temperature. In the winter season the sudden changes cause croup, diphtheria and other consequences of catarrhal conditions, while the heated term is the great producer of intestinal troubles, which are legion. Quoting another paragraph from Dr. Freeman's thoughtful article on this topic, he says, “no physician who has visited regularly in summer the wards of the babies' hospitals can doubt that heat and humidity have a serious effect on sick babies, a hot day usually showing a rise in the temperatures accompanied by an exacerbation of the symptoms. While this is an important factor, there is a far more important one in the food of the babies, for the heat and humidity do the babies more harm indirectly by spoiling their food, than by the direct action of the heat upon the child itself. That heat affects the children in the lower strata of society more seriously than in the homes of the wellto-do classes can readily be understood when we recall the heated kitchens of the tenements, which must be kept hot for the domestic operations, which are a necessity to the families thus situated. A hot, humid day is bad enough for the sick child or adult, but in the crowded tenement, with fire burning in the kitchen stove all day its effects can be imagined without a trial of it.
Concerning the diseases directly or indirectly the result of superheated or vitiated air, in tenement or otherwise unhealthy houses, there is only palliation in various ways, notably by the baby çab, the fresh air excursion, and the use of the public play-ground. Next to nature's food is nature's blood purifier-fresh air for the baby. With regard to the infants who are born, or like Topsy, “jis growed,” amid the slums or the haunts of poverty, miscalled home, there is but little chance of lowering the percentage of mortality, and it is a serious question whether it is a blessing either to the child or the parent, to rescue the child from the euthanasia of innocent childhood, to run the gauntlet of temptation, amid the gambling, profane, drunken and licentious crowd among whom its early years must be passed, unless rescued from the jaws of that living death by some philanthropic heart, who recognizes a pearl in the muddy slough.
These conditions are largely under the control of the medical fraternity, for when a united demand for the safety of society comes up from the profession they will be heard and heeded. I insist, therefore, that the medical profession can banish the slum districts from our cities, if they will. We know that the infernal appetite for the beverages of hell is at the root of this man-degrading and womandestroying business, and as long as the medical profession aids and abets the infamous traffic by using and prescribing the liquid damnation, so long will the little unfortunates be born into the world handicapped in the struggle for life by an inheritance of depraved functions and weakened nerves. Oliver Wendell Holmes says that “every child has the divine right to claim the privilege of being born right,"' but it is certain that the child of a drunken father or mother, or worse still, of two drunken parents, if it escapes the terrible fate of imbecility, is at the very best under influences that will diminish its chances fully 50 per cent. against the physical and moral woes of childhood. I speak these things from my own observation, and could give cases in my practice verifying these fearful facts, and if I can help each one of you to feel that you are responsible to the extent of your personal example and influence, as well as by your teaching, I will feel that the opportunity has not been in vain.
In the matter of treatment of all of these conditions, we are alı aware that in the little harmless sugar pellets we have a safe, sure and pleasant means of relief and cure. The vast advantage of pure homeopathy (for there is much spurious homeopathy now-a-days) is nowhere so clearly demonstrable, as in the treatment of infants' diseases, for the allopathic brother cannot ascribe the cure to psychic influence or suggestion. The cases of diseases obscure in nature and origin will often readily begin to improve if you recall Hahnemann's Psora or sycosis and give a single dose of Sulph. cc, or if some specific taint be detected, a dose of Thuja cm. ; and I have seen marked benefit where a clearly apparent tuberculous tendency existed by giving Bacillinum cc. Do not forget that these require time for their action, and that much placebo may be intercurrent. I have found great help in the judicious use of the tissue remedies, but I leave specific treatment to my colleagues for more special elaboration.
With practice, any one can easily learn to pass a female catheter without uncovering the patient. But it is very rarely advisable to adopt this mode of action for the simple reason that it is not clean. Expose the patient, wipe the parts with a disinfecting solution, and insert the sterilized catheter without letting it come in conact with any part of the pudenda other than the urethral opening.
None of the antiseptic powders used for wound dressings can be considered as being really effective germicides. Their action is merely to lessen secretion, decompose ptomaines and stimulate leucocytosis. Notwithstanding its many drawbacks, there are some cases in which iodoform still proves the most effective.
THE NORTHWESTERN OHIO HOMEOPATHIC MEDICAL SOCIETY,
The eleventh annual session of the Northwestern Ohio Homeopathic Medical Society was called to order by the President, Dr. M. H. Parmelee, at 10:30 A. M., at the National Union Bldg., Toledo.
The President appointed Drs. Roll and McVay as a Board of Censors.
W. A. Humphrey, Bureau of Clinical Medicine, presented the following clinical case :--I have had but about five minutes to look this case over, and I do not know very much about it. Dr. Frasch is present and will give the details of the case. This man, as you see him, about two years ago weighed 200 pounds and was practically well. About a year and a half ago he began to lose flesh and lost fifty pounds. Coincident with this there was development of intense itching all over the body. There was no eruption, except as it was produced by scratching. Dr. Frasch tells me that at this time there was obstinate constipation, and is yet. The stools are small, nodular, and inclined to be of a very light color. Dr. Frasch.— The case commenced about two years ago.
The first thing that he noticed was backache, and some sciatic symptomssometimes right and sometimes left. That was relieved by the ordinary remedy, but about a year ago he developed an intense pruritis, relieved by scratching, and he would scratch until it bled. His great anxiety was to get that relieved. At first I thought it skin disease, but I concluded it was not. He continued to lose flesh, until this last summer he would lose as much as five pounds in a week. More recently he has been gaining a little flesh. His appetite is getting better, but the stool is not changed yet. The liver is somewhat smaller. There was no albumen and no sugar.
Dr. Humphrey.-I find on hurried examination slight enlargement of the liver. The tongue is in very good condition. The strength
Dr. Frasch.-He has noticed since fall a great sensitiveness to cold.
Dr. Bishop.- What is the family history?
Dr. Frasch.-Father lived to be ninety, and his mother is still living and is eighty-three years old. His brothers and sisters are all living except two.
Dr. Humphrey.- How long have you had strabismus?
Patient. - When I was four or five years old I had some kind of sore eyes and it left my eyes so.
Dr. Humphrey.- Tell us something about the stomach disturbances.
Dr. Frasch.-I could not say, but possibly the treatment brought that on. He has been under homeopathic treatment all the time, but he had a 4 oz. bottle which was so strong of Nux that you could have put it in a barrel of rainwater and then tasted the remedy. When he commenced the use of Nux he lost perhaps 51/2 pounds of flesh a week. From that time until now he has had stomach trouble, and it always gives him the most trouble immediately after exercise. He seldom ate anything after the noon-day meal, yet he would have sour eructations about eight or nine o'clock at night. There is another thing. He was very sensitive to sound. . While sleeping upstairs he could hear the clock downstairs tick as plainly as if it were in the same room:
Dr. Humphrey.-I find no disturbance of the circulation, except that incident to examination by strangers. Has there been any bile!
Dr. Frasch.— There was at one time.
Dr. Frasch.-It is about 106 feet higher than Toledo. He lives in a frame house, so there is no dampness from the house.
Dr. Biggar.-- There are some questions I would like to ask. Has the water been highly colored? Answer. It is at the present time. Question.-Do you know how much in volume in 24 hours ? Answer. - I could not say, only as I could guess. Question.-Do you rise at night to pass water? Answer.— No, sir. Question.—Have you had any sharp pains about the upper part of the abdomen? Answer. No, sir. Question.- Any colicky pains? Answer.- No, sir.
It is very hard to form a diagnosis in this case, without more than one or two symptoms. I think sometimes we make a mistake in coming to a conclusion without knowing the exact conditions and changes made after two or three examinations. There is one point which strikes me, and that is the loss of weight. There is no history of injury. The heart's action is good. You do find enlargement of the liver, and therefore, you are right in looking to the liver region for all his trouble. Where you get rapid loss of flesh you think of some malignant condition. If you have an enlarged liver now it may become small in time, and may be of cirrhotic character. You may have trouble with the prostate gland.
There are two remedies of which, without knowing more about