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FACTS FOR THE PHYSIOLOGIST AND PSYCOLOGIST.
T.-A correspondent has forwarded to us a few interesting facts which had been observed in a very aged woman, who died on the 17th instand, at Carluke, in Scotland, aged 100 years and six months. There is no written evidence of the date of her birth; but the record of a baptism so far establishes this within a few days—for baptism, at that time, always followed close upon birth, in accordance with certain superstitious views. She was baptized, according to the parochial register of Carstairs, 15th of May, 1757 (old style, of course); and she used to relate that she was taken to the kirk for baptism when five days old. In this way the 20th of our calendar would be the date of birth. She married late in life-at thirty-seven; and had two sons, who still survive. Her sight was lost at ninety-five; and her hearing then and since was defective; but the mental faculties failed little. Her skin was soft and smooth as that of a child; her face was unwrinkled; and her cheeks ruddy at the hour of death. At ninety-four menstruation returned for a short time; and her breasts were as full as those of a woman in nursing-time condition which continued to the last. In illustration of the persistent character of sexual feeling or functions, our correspondent states that, many years ago, he attended a man, aged ninety-two, whose sole disease was unappeasable jealousy of his wife, an old frail woman.- London Lancet.
CHLOROFORM IN Convulsion.—A case of convulsions recently came under my observation, which, from its severity, inefficiency of the usual treatment, and charming effect of the remedy last resorted to, renders it a case of some interest, and confirmatory of these already published in the Journal.
It was in the subject of a little girl aged nearly five years; her previous health having been good, with the exception of two transcient convulsive attacks, some weeks before.
At this time the attack came on in church, at the close of morning service. She was removed to her home. On my arrival, I found the left balf of the body uninterruptedly convulsed, with frequent general convulsion movements; respiration and deglutition so difficult that emetics were administered with the utmost difficulty, partial vomiting only ensuing. The warm bath was perseveringly employed for the third time; mustard applied to various parts of the body; stimulating and anti-spasmodic injections administered, and an active cathartic given, all to no purpose. Chloroform was then carefully administered by inhalation. The convulsive movements gradually ceased, and after a momentary pause, the patient waked up as from a sleep, with every thing set apparently to rights.
The convulsions had continued for a period of seven hours without an appreciable interval of consciousness or quietude. Some slight contractions occasionally took place in the left arm; they however gave way in a day or two, and health was restored. - Medical and Surgical Journal.
TRIBULATIONS OF DISCOVERERS.-Dr. Marshall Hall claimed priority in the discovery of the excito-secretory function of the spinal nerves, but gracefully yielded it to Dr. H. F. Campbell, of Augusta, Ga., on his demonstrating that he taught the same doctrine prior to its announcement by Dr. Hall. But no sooner had the chaplet been placed on Dr. Campell's brow by so distinguished a hand, then up jumps Dr. J. Adams Allen, of somewhere in Michigan, and “puts in" for the honor of teaching the same doctrine before Dr. Campbell did. Still the question was not allowed to rest, for next, down comes Dr. Martyn Payne, of New York, with a claim to a priority over all and everybody! Well, here are "riders" enough to crush anybody but a
! Campbell. We know he has "pluck," and if there is any such thing as defending his claim, he will do that same." We wish him a good time.
Another case of the same kind has more recently engaged the attention of a portion of the profession. It is “on this wise." Dr. Oliver W. Holmes, the eccentric "poet, anatomist and physician," of Boston, and Dr. Powhatan Jordan, on whose favored person the shadow of the President occasionally falls on " Pennsylvania Avenue," happened, simultaneously we believe, or nearly so, to discover—we will not say that—to record the discovery of “a foolish little muscle," (as Dr. Holmes very poetically calls it, since he finds that there is a rival claimant to the discovery,) being a continuation of a few fibres of the rectus abdominis across the sternum, up somewhere towards the calvaria. If our memory serves us rightly, the late Prof. Horner frequently pointed out these fibres in his lectures, but made no special note of them. How is this matter to be settled ?
We long ago said that we hoped we never should discover anything, as nothing would be gained by it, for some one would be ready to claim it as a prior discovery.—Medical f. Surgical Reporter.
The candor of Professor Syme, in making this correction through the London Times, is truly commendable and worthy of imitation, by all members of our profession, under like circumstances. There is true manliness in it.
An ExcistON OF A Man's TONGUE—The following letter has been addressed, by Professor Syme, to the editor of the Times: “I regret to learn that an operation which I happened to perform in the Royal Infimary of Edinburgh has got into the newspapers; but as it has unfortunately done so, the public should be correctly informed on the subject. Partial removal of the tongue, for the remedy of Cancer, having been found worse than useless, it was thought that extirpation of the whole organ might afford effectual relief; upon this principle I proceeded. The patient suffered no bad consequences directly from the operation; but at the end of a week, when the external wound was quite healed, died suddenly from an internal disease, which might have been excited by any other irritation in a person of his constitution and habits."
SURGERY IN SAN FRANCISCO.—Dr. E. S. Cooper of this city has recently ligated the primitive carotid artery in two cases—the external iliac in one, the axillary in one removed a large fibro-cartilaginous tumor from the uterus, made the Cæsarian section in ope, exsected parts of three ribs and removed a foreign body from beneath the heart, exsected the sternal extremity of the clavicle and a portion of the summit of the sternum, together with the exsection of nearly all the joints, in different cases, all successfully. This embraces a list of formidable operations, which, being attended with favorable results, are worthy of note. This uniform success in operations of such magnitude must in part be attributed to the effects of our climate, which for the recovery of patients after receiving serious injuries is at least unsurpassed in any part of the world.
There have been many other capital operations successfully performed in various parts of this State, which we are unable, for want of data from the operators, to specify. There is no country in the world where, in the absence of war, mutilation and deformities from injuries are so common and so serious, as in California; and it is not, therefore, remarkable that our surgeons have opportunities of practice which can be found only in the hospitals of other countries. — Pacific Medical and Surgical Journal.
DEATH FROM CHLOROFORM.--A painful feeling was lately occasioned in Toronto by the melancholy death of Mr. John McChesney. This gentleman called at the operating room of Dr. French, surgeon dentist, to have six teeth extracted, but appeared reluctant to submit to the operation unless under the influence of chloroform. Dr. Richardson was accordingly sent for to administer it, which he did, first, however, explaining to Mr. McChesney that he took the anæsthetic solely at his own risk. After a short inhalation, the gums were lanced, and, the cloroform having been again applied, the teeth were removed. But as soon as this was done, Mr. McChesney was seen to alter in appearance; his eyes became fixed, the jaws fell, respiration ceased, and the heart's action stopped. Every possible attempt was made to restore animation, but to no purpose-Mr. McChesney was dead. Fuller details respecting his death will be found in the evidence below, taken at the inquest held the same evening, 1st February.
Dr. Tobias French, in reply to the foreman of the jury, described the manner in which Dr. Richardson administered the chloroform, by placing it in a sponge and applying it to the nostrils of the patient. After a short time the patient began to laugh, asked him the cause, and he said he could not help it, seeing those fellows (meaning us) laughing at him. It was then thought he was sufficiently insensible to commence the operation of lancing the gums. He winced under the lancing; I asked him to lean forward and spit into the bowl, which he did. He did not speak, but groaned several times. I remarked to the Doctor, that he was getting on well. After a few inhalations the Doctor said it was better to draw the teeth, and my brother did so. He extracted six. The deceased seemed conscious
of pain, and struggled in the drawing of the last tooth, and appeared like a person not fully under the influence. I asked him to lean over the bowl which I held before him, and he spat into it. I then observed a change pass over bis countenance, such as to startle me, and I remarked there was something wrong. Dr. Richardson opened the window and ordered me to tap the patient on the right side, so that he would not swallow any blood. I next remarked a great change, and exclaimed that he was gone. The deceased at this time looked cadaverous, and his jaw fell. We then took him and laid him on the floor, placed a pillow under his head and made an application of ammonia; also applied cold water to his head and had the body briskly rubbed. Dr. Richardson called for assistance, and Drs. Russell, Nicholl, Beaumont and Haswell were brought in. A galvanic battery was also put in operation, but all was of no avail.
Dr. Richardson was examined and deposed that every precaution was taken in the case of Mr. McChesney, and quoted instances of a similar nature which had taken place in England.
Dr. Haswell. When I went to Dr. French's, I found the deceased lying on the floor. Respiration had then ceased. Dr. Richardson was using efforts to restore animation. I assisted, in conjunction with Drs. Beaumont and Nicholl, for about an hour.
At this stage of the proceedings it was intimated by the jury that abundant medical testimony had been adduced, and no further evidence was taken.
After a short deliberation, the jury found the following verdict: " That the deceased came to his death in Dr. French's operating room, while under the influence of chloroform, which he had voluntarily inbaled for the purpose of getting some teeth extracted; and that more than ordinary care was used in the administration of the chloroform.” - Medical Chronicle.
EDITORIAL CHANGE.—Dr. Happoldt has retired from the editorial charge of the Charleston, Medical Journal and Review, and Dr. J. Dickson Bruns has succeeded him. Although Dr. H. has not long served in the editorial harness, he has done himself the highest credit, and we regret to know that he abandons the ranks. The January number of the Charleston Journal comes out under the supervision of Dr. Bruns, and if we are to judge of his capacity accordingly, we think he will succeed.-N. O. Med. News f Hospital Gazette.
EXTRAORDINARY FECUNDITY. - It is stated in a number of the Magazine of Natural History, &c., of Moscow, that the peasant Kirilow was presented along with his wife to the empress. This peasant was married for the second time at the age of 70. His first wife was delivered 21 times : four times of 4 infants at a birth, seven times of 3 infants, and ten times of twins-in all 57 children, then alive. The second wife had already been delivered seven times: once of triplets, and six times of twins-in all 15 living children.— Virg. Med. Jour.
THE DUKE AND THE JESTER.—It was a custom in old times, in many sovereign courts, to have a jester or buffoon, who, by his witticisms and jests, and even by his impertinencies, served to amuse and while away the time of the sovereign and his courtiers.
It is said that the Duke of Ferrara, Alphonse d'Este, on one occasion, while in familiar conversation, inquired which of the trades was most numerously followed by his subjects. One said, the shoemakers; another, the tailors; some mentioned the laborers, and others the lawyers.
Gonelle, a famous buffoon, said that there were more doctors than any other class of men, and made a bet with his master the duke (who disputed the fact), that he would prove it in twenty-four hours.
The next morning Gonelle left his room with his night cap on and a handkerchief around his jaws. He placed over these his hat, and fastened his cloak closely about his throat. In this costume he wended his way to the palace of his excellency by the Rue des Anges.
The first person he met asked him what was the matter.
"Ah, my friend," said the other, “I know the best remedy in the world against that evil.” And he told him.
Gonelle wrote his name on his tablets, pretending to write down . his recipe.
At the next step he met two or three at once who made the inquiry, and each one offered him a remedy. He wrote down their names also, and so pursuing his walk, he met with no person who did not give him a recipe different each from the other, and all declaring that theirs was well attested, certain and infallible. He wrote down every body's name.
Having arrived at last at the inner court of the palace, he was surrounded by many persons, all of whom knowing him, inquired after his malady and offered him their remedies, each one declaring his was the best. He thanked them and wrote down their names.
When he entered into the chamber of the duke, his excellency cried out: “A long way off! Eh, Gonelle, what ails
?" He replied very piteously and feebly: “The most cruel toothache, that ever was in the world."
At once his excellency said to him: "Eh, Gonelle, I know a thing which will instantly stop your suffering, just as well as if you were to have it pulled out. Brassa volo, my physician, never practiced a hetter
Do this and that, and you will be immediately relieved.” Suddenly Gonelle threw off his night cap and bandage and cried out: “You too, sire, are a doctor, just look how many I have met between my house and yours. There are more than two hundred, and I have only walked down one street. I'll bet I could find more than ten thousand, if I chose to look for them. Can you show me as many persons in any other occupation ?"
This is a true story and well told, as every body meddles with physic, and there are few persons who do not think that they know as much, indeed more, than the doctors.— Virginia Med. Jour.