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President~J. W. Ramsay, Clarksburg.
Vice-Presidents—. A. Hildreth, Wheeling; J. M. Cooper, Wellsburg; Elias S.
Secretary-James M. Lazzell, Fairmont.
Censors—H. W. Brock, Chairman, I. K. Berkabile, M. Campbell, J. H. Legge,
Dr. Hildreth introduced resolutions creating a committee (Messrs. Lazzell, Stafford and Thayer,) to invite the regular practitioners of the State to co-operate with the Society in the advancement of Medical Science. Adopted.
Dr. Todd presented a resolution creating three districts in the State, and in each a committee to report on Medical Botany. Adopted.
Parkersburg was chosen as the next place of meeting, and Drs. Safford, Campbell and Clark appointed a Committee of Arrangements.
Drs. Frissell and Campbell were appointed essayists, to report at next meeting.
The President announced the appointment of the following Committees :
Climatology and Epidemics—Dr. Hildreth, Chairman, with Drs. Allison, Lazzell, Cooper, Kendall, Thayer, Nicklin, Putney, Safford, Legge, Charter, M'Lane, Wilson, Bowcock, Kunst, Schumaker and Wilson, J. G.
On Necrology-Drs. Berkabile, Young, Campbell, Reeves and Dougherty.
Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to report at next meeting on
Committee-Drs. Cooper, Sharp and Dent, W. M.
Dr. Todd moved that a committee be appointed to memorialize the Legislature on the subject of the appointment of a State Geologist. Adopted. The President appointed the following: Drs. Hupp, Hildreth and Kendall.
The committee on recent medical and surgical appliances was constituted by the appointment of Drs. Berkabile, Ramsay and Wiesel.
Dr. Hupp offered resolutions of thanks to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad for commutation of fare; to the Trustees of the Methodist Church South for the use of their building, and to the citizens of Clarksburg for characteristic hospitality. Adopted.
Dr. Campbell offered a resolution which was adopted, tendering thanks to the officers of the Society for their efficient and courteous discharge of duty.
On motion of Dr. Lee, the Treasurer was instructed to pay the Sexton ten dollars for putting in order the church.
Question for discussion at next meeting was offered by Dr. Stafford, and adopted-Is child bed fever an inflammatory disease?
On motion of Dr. Todd the Society adjourned to meet at Parkersburg, at two o'clock P. M., on the first Wednesday in June, 1870.
PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS ON THE ÆTIOLOGY, PA
THOLOGY, DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF ANAL FISSURE.
BY WILLIAM BODENHAMER, A. M., M. D.,
* Professor of the Diseases, Injuries and Malformations of the Rectum, Anus and Genito-Urinary Organs. Illustrated by numerous cases and drawings, New York: William
Wood & Co., 61 Walker Street. 1868. Pp. 199.
Few diseases, apparently so trivial in character, are productive of the amount of pain and discomfort that attend fissures of the anus. And notwithstanding the attention given the disease by eminent surgeons, the diagnosis and the treatment, are probably not well understood by many of the profession. A complete and systematic treatise on the subject, consequently, must supply a want in surgical literature, and be of great practical importance.
To supply such a treatise, was the object of Dr. Bodenhamer in the preparation of the work whose title is given above, and we feel sure that the profession will award to him the praise due to one who is successful in so laudable an enterprise. Chapter I is devoted to the history of anal fissure and the views that have been held in relation to the disease, together with an extended notice of the disease known as “spasmodic contraction of the anus." Chapter II, to a notice of the physiology of the parts involved in the disease and defines the meaning of the term “fissure of the anus." Chapter III presents the ætiology of the disease, while chapter IV gives a classification and description of the same, with symptoms and mode of
• The Editor would like to know by what right this Dr. Bodonhamer, "A. M," gives himself be above title.
examination of the patient. Chapter V presents the details of treatment; that of the author "consists of topical medication combined with dilatation, and sometimes scarification or incision of the mucous membrane." "The chief indication is to modify the surface of the ulcer and transform it into a simple or common sore." In spasmodic contraction of the anus, distention of the sphincters by either the bougie, the fingers or tents made of lint, is depended on, as being milder, safer and equally as certain, as section of the sphincter muscles, first practiced in modern times by M. Boyer and still in favor with many surgeons. For the same reasons, forcible dilatation of the sphincter and by means of the thumbs—a method of cure advocated by Prof. Van Buren-is objected to. Besides his own plan of treatment, the author describes the other methods of treatment that have found most favor with the profession.
Chapter VI is made up of illustrative cases. Twenty-nine cases are reported in detail; some of them of much interest. The bibliog. raphy of the subject concludes the volume.
We are satisfied that while the profession will accord to Dr. Bodenhamer's book much merit, all his conclusions will not be endorsed as correct. One example must serve as an illustration: In speaking of fissures other than of the anus, Dr. B. says that he has for a number of years adopted the idea that “the disease which is improperly denominated dysmenorrhæa, is in reality nothing more nor less than fissure of the os tinca; and I have so treated it with remarkable success, namely: By application of a strong solution of the nitrate of silver three times a week, and gentle and gradual dilatation with an elastic bougie, once or twice a week. « That dilatation exerts a powerful influence in curing dysmenorrhea, is evidenced by the known fact that if the patient could become pregnant and give birth to a child, the disease would be cured.” We question the statement in relation to the cause of dysmenorrhea, as well as that in regard to the cure effected by childbirth. We think the incorporation of entire pages of untranslated French quotations into the body of the book, as well as the great display made of Latip in the prescriptions, not in very good taste, as an air of pedantry is thus given to the book, that was not intended by its author.
J. R. W.
PHYSIOLOGICAL RELATIONS OF TOBACCO.
(This is the concluding portion of a very interesting article having the above title, by Prof. Hammond, which we find in the last number of the American Revier.)
During the series of experiments immediately preceding, * when the food was insufficient to maintain the weight of the body, there had been an almost constant sensation of hunger, and a marked degree of debility. Neither of these conditions existed before the use of tobacco was begun.
From the whole of the experiments I conclude: First-That tobacco does not materially affect the excretion of carbonic acid through the lungs. Second–That it lessens the amount of aqueous vapor given off in respiration. Third—That it diminishes the amount of the intestine excretion. Fourth—That it lessens the quantity of the excretion, and the amount of its urea and chlorides. Fifth-That it increases the amount of free acid, uric acid, and sulphuric and phosphoric acids eliminated through the kidneys. The general purport of the experiments, therefore, is, that tobacco retards the waste of the tissues, though the fact that it increases the amount of phosphoric acid would seem to show that the destructive metamorphosis of the nervous tissue was increased.
It must be remembered that the amount of tobacco used was largeamounting, as it did, to six cigars a day. Subsequent experiments which I made, smoking only three cigars daily, one after each meal, showed that the effect of this moderate amount was to decrease the quantity of phosphoric acid excreted from the system. The question, therefore, scarcely admits of a doubt, that, other things being equal, a person can do more mental and physical labor, and with less fatigue, under the moderate use of tobacco than without it. The excessive use may be injurious, just as may be the excessive use of almost any substance taken as food or drink.
Another important physiological effect of tobacco is seen in its action upon the stomach, as increasing the excretion, gastric juice, and thus promoting digestion. It is a well recognized physiological fact, that a very intimate sympathetic connection exists between the stomach and the salivary glands. A mild sensation of hunger makes the "mouth water,” and an increase in the quantity of saliva created is
• These experiments were, first, to ascertain the effect of tobacco, when a sufficient quantity of food was digested to maintain the weight of the body. Second, to determine the influence of tobacco, when the food was insufficient, and when, consequently, the body was losing weight.
almost invariably attended by an increase in the quantity of gastrie juice. This is shown by making a fistula in the stomach of a dog, so that the gastric juice can be collected as soon as it is formed. · Now if any strongly sapid substance—as a piece of tobacco for instance, be put into the dog's mouth, an increased secretion of saliva takes place, and at the same time gastric juice is formed in large quantity, and pours through the fistula into a vessel placed to receive it. A cigar acts in the same way upon the salivary glands and stomach of a smoker. To smoke after meals is, therefore, a perfectly orthodox physiological act, and is another example of coincidence between instinct and science. Many cases of dyspepsia are cured by this simple means. Tobacco, by diminishing the destructive metamorphosis of the tissues, enables mankind to support the effects of hunger with less loss of strength, and less bodily and mental fatigue, than would otherwise result. The experience of soldiers and travellers suffices to establish this fact, and is a matter of such popular notoriety that it is scarcely necessary to cite examples. I have frequently noticed the phenomena in my own person.
But the chief influence of tobacco is exerted
upon the brain, and other parts of the nervous system, and it is mainly to secure this effect that man uses the substance at all. The tendency of civilization is to increase the wear and tear of nerve tissue. New pursuits, new duties, the spread of learning, the discoveries of science, the struggle for wealth and position, the turning of the night into day, and hundreds of other factors, act with a power under which many minds go down into darkness, and others are more or less shattered. To avoid the action of these causes is impossible, without a thorough change in the condition of society, and an arrest of the mental development of mankind. Even if we could accomplish either of these ends, it would certainly be undesirable to make the attempt. But it is assuredly proper for us to look for some means capable of lessening the ill effects which are produced by the labors, the anxieties, the sorrows, the troubles, of which every man who keeps up with the world must expect to bear a large share, and which can not be altogether avoided by persons of the most quiet pursuits.
Among the substances which man has been led to use in order to bring about this result, tobacco is one of the most efficacious, as it is the least harmful. As a soother of the nervous system, and a promoter of reflection, it acts with a degree of certainty and yet of mildness, which places it far above all its cogeners. Under its influence the nervous substance, especially that of the brain and sympathetic system, is preserved from the inroads to which it would otherwise be subjected. The ability to comprehend is increased, the judgment is rendered clearer, the power of the will is augmented, and all this without the degree of exhaustion which otherwise follows every prolonged mental effort. The greatest men the world has ever seen used tobacco, and men both great and commonplace will continue to use it till they get something better. But tobacco, to be most advantageous to mankind, should be used with moderation. Like every other good thing it is a two-edged sword, and, when employed to excess, it often causes neuralgia, indigestion and more or less derangement of the