« ForrigeFortsæt »
weighed thirteen pounds. The point was upward, and the iron smooth.
The missile entered, by its pointed end, the left side of the face, immediately anterior to the angle of the lower jaw, and passing obliquely upward and slightly backward, emerged out of the top of the head in the median line, at the back part of the frontal bone, near the coronal suture. The ordinary reader will understand it better, if we say that, pointing upward, it entered the check outside the teeth, and under the cheek bone, went inside an inch behind the eye, and out of the top of the head in the centre, two inches back of the line where the forehead and hair meet.
The patient was thrown on his back, and gave a few convulsive motions of the extremities, but spoke in a few minutes. IIe was taken three quarters of a mile in a sitting position in a cart; got out of the cart himself with the aid of his men, and an hour afterward, with the assistance of Dr. Harlow holding his arm, walked up a flight of stairs to his room.
He was conscious, but exhausted from loss of blood, which found its way from the mouth into the stomach, and was ejected as often as every fitteen or twenty minutes by vomiting. His bed and person were soon à gore of blood.
One piece of the skull had been broken out in fragments; another piece was raised and thrown back, like a door, the scalp serving as a hinge; and on the opposite side of the wound there was another fracture and an elevation. The globe of the left eye was partially protruded from its orbit, the left side of the face was more prominent than the right. The opening in the skull was two inches wide by three and a half long, and the brain was hanging in shreds on the hair. The pulsation of the brain could be distinctly seen, and the doctor passed his finger in its whole length without the patient saying he felt pain.
The paper gives an account of the treatment of the case. In forty-nine days the patient was abroad. On the third day there was inflammation and some delirium; and during several weeks there was occasional delirium : for two weeks of the time the patient lay in a stupid condition, and his death was expected and his grave-clothes prepared. On the 25th of November he went in a close carriage thirty miles to his home in Lebanon.
The subsequent history of the case is interesting. Gage came back to Cavendish in April, in fair health and strength, having his taiping iron with him, and he carried it with
him till the day of his death, twelve years after. The effect of the injury appears to have been the destruction of the equilibrium between his intellectual faculties and the animal propensities. He was now capricious, fitful, irreverent, impatient of restraint, vacillating, a youth in intellectual capacity and manifestations, a man in physical system and passions. lIis physical recovery was complete, but those who once knew him as a shrewd, smart, energetic, persistent business man, recognized the change in his mental character. The balance of his inind was gone. He used to give his nephews and his nieces wonderful accounts of his hairbreadth escapes, without foundation in fact, and conceived a great fondness for pets.
He went to various places, being engaged here and there; was a year and a half in charge of horses at a livery stable; was exhibited at Barnum’s Museum in New York; and in August, 1852, four years after his injury, left New England forever, and went to Valparaiso with a man who was going to establish a line of coaches. Here he lived eight years, occasionally driving a six horse coach, and enduring many hardships. In 1859 his health began to fail; in 1860 he had a long illness, the nature of which cannot now be ascertained.
He now left Chili, and Dr. Harlow lost all trace of him for some years, but finally found out that the mother and sister were in San Francisco, wrote to them, and ascertained that Gage had got there in 1860; worked with a farmer at Santa Clara, and in February, 1861, was taken with epileptic fits; afterward he worked in several places; and finally in May, 1861, had a succession of fits, which lasted a couple of days, and carried him off. There was no autopsy made. Dr. Harlow made overtyres for the possession of the skull, on account of its scientific interest, and the world at large is under obligation to the relatives, who were willing to surrender it for the uses of medical science. It appears that the man could see out of his left eye, though the lid was not fully subject to the will; that he was troubled with uneasiness in the head.
Dr. Harlow, in summing up his valuable and interesting paper, presented these views : 1st. The recovery is attributed solely to the vis vitæ, vis conservatrix, or, if some like it, vis medicatrix naturæ. 21. This case has been cited as one of recovery; physically the recovery was nearly or quite complete for the four years immediately succeeding the injury, but ultimately the patient succumbed to progressive disease of the brain. Mentally the recovery was only
partial; there was no dementia; intellectual operations were perfect in kind, but not in degree or quantity. 3. Though the case may seem improbable, yet the subject was the man for the case, as his will, physique, and capacity for endurance could scarcely be equalled; the missile was smooth and pointed, dilating and wedging off rather than lacerating the tissues; the bolt did little injury till it entered the base of the brain, and that opening served as a drain for the blood
and matter, and other substances that might have caused • death by compression; the part of the brain traversed was the etrongest for that purpose.
Dr. Ilarlow had with him and exhibited the skull and the iron.
The piece of skull, which was thrown backward like a door, and was afterward replaced, had grown to the opposite edge by a new formation of bone, plainly. marked; the holes were large and well defined ; and the whole appearance of the skull proved the truth of the account; which has also been verified by letters from some of the first men at Cavendish, Vt. It appears that, early in the history of the case, a number of fragments of bone came down into the mouth through the opening in the inside, and were voided.
A great deal of interest was manifested in the examination of these important contributions to surgical science, and Dr. Harlow was abundantly complimented for the persistence with which he followed up the case for nearly twenty years. — Med. and Surg. Reporter.
Epidemic of Eruptive Diseases.
During the last month or six weeks an eruptive diathesis has developed itself suddenly on the Pacific Coast. Scarlatina and measles came first, and then small pox
Children on the steamers from Panama were attacked with the two former, somewhat prior to the appearance here of those disordets. The small pox made a sudden irruption, and threatened a serious visitation, but began to subside speedily. A large proportion of the cases were fatal, including several of varioloid-or in other words, small pox after vaccination or variolation. The measles too have been and continue to be very severe, not only in their ordinary sequelæ, but in the primary form, constituting what is sometimes called black measles. At Sacramento and other remote points, the same epidemic influence is in operation. The mortuary list in
San Francisco mounted from 45 to 69 in a single week. Such a rapid development of disease points to a critical condition of the public health in relation to other possible epidemicscholera for instance, and indicates the propriety of sanitary precautions.---Pacific Med. and Surg. Journal.
The Effects of Light upon Chloroform.
SOME time since, a death ocurred at Winona, Wis., from the inhalation of chloroform. During the progress of the coroner's investigation it was asked if light would decompose chloroform, and if so, what time was required to render the decomposition apparent. On these points Dr. Youmans "(Dental Register) says: “At the time the chemical examination of tho chloroform was going on, a fresh bottle, represented as belonging to the same invoice as that used by Dr. Welch, was obtained from Mr. Wickersham, and also subjected to examination. This presented nothing extraordinary in appearance and was found to be perfectly pure. At the close of the inquest it was left standing upon the table, near a window, in a private room in my office, where, for a portion of the day-from about nine o'clock until twelve-it was exposed to the direct rays of the sun. I took no particular notice of it further than an occasional glance, until one day—the twenty-fifth, I think, from the time of bringing it to the office-I observed upon the bottom of the inside of the bottle a greenish appearance which at once arrested my attention. Struck by the similarity of color between it and the foreign substance present in the chloroformn which came from the office of Dr. Welch, I immediately dipped into the bottle a slip of test paper, and found the contents to be distinctly acid. A day or two after I observed that a greenishcolored fluid was collecting upon the surface of the chloroform; and this has since gone on accumulating until now it forms a kind of ring nearly a quarter of an inch thick, adhering to the sides of the bottle, and floating upon the surface. I have tested this chloroform carefully, and find the new substance to be hydrochloric acid.”—Pacific Med. and Surg. Journal
Cupping Glasses in the Treatment of Anthrax.
M. Fotcher adopted the following method of treating a case of anthrax. It was as large as an egg and situated in
the left dorsal region, on a level with the spine of the scapula. He procured a cupping glass about an inch and a half in diameter, and adapting to it the pump, he placed it over the carbuncle and exhausted the air. The cup filled quickly with sanious pus and shreds of tissue; he left it on for some moments, when upon taking it away the pain disappeared and the tumor was emptied of its contents. He applied the cup three successive days; each time all organic detritus was removed from the tumor, and the third time the integument over the part came away, leaving a healthy exposed surface, perfectly clean, and commencing to be covered with healthy granulations. The borders of the wound were irregular, sharp, and elevated, and suppuration was normal. The dressing consisted of ponltices, and the wound proceeded to å speedy crre.—Benchordat's Annual Abstract.
To the Friends of Eclectic Medical Education.
The Winter Session of the Eclectic Medical College of the City of New York, will commence its preliminary course the 1st day of October, and the regular course on Tuesday the 13th day of October, and continue sixteen weeks.
It is also contemplated to hold another session in the Spring, of fourteen works, to begin at the close of the winter session.
The advantages afforded for medical education in this city are not excelled anywhere on the western continent. Besides the instruction to be obtained from their professors, students are also entitled to access to the several hospitals and dispensaries, including the emigrant hospitals and other institutions under charge of the State Commissioners of Emigration.
The principles of medicine and surgery taught at the Eclectic Medical College, are those which are generally held by all believers in the Eclectic practice of medicine. They allow and require the fullest investigation, and provide that that investigation shall be un. trammelled by any prescribed code or system of ethics; and at the same time enjoin the disuse of every agency, claimed to be remedial, which is liable to inflict permanent injury on the human constitution. The result has already been shown in the introduction of new medi