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B. Prolapsus of the Cord.—These cases were treated with reference to the following varieties : first, when it was found presenting previous to the rupture of the membranes ; second, when it was found prolapsed in the first stage ; third, when the prolapse was discovered at the cornmencement of the second stage; and fourth, when it was discovered during the progress of that stage.

In the first case the patient was maintained in the horizontal position until the os uteri was sufficiently dilated to admit of the operation of turning previously to the rupture of the membranes. In the second, version was also the remedy, and this was resorted to much earlier in the case of pluriparous females than primiparous females. In the third, if the head had not descended into the pelvis version was also attempted, but if it bad, labour was either accelerated by the application of the forceps, or an attempt was made to raise the cord above the sphere of pressure. In the fourth, the same practice was pursued, and it was either attempted to elevate the cord above the head, or to accelerate delivery by the forceps. In short, it is observed that two rules mainly regulated the manage. ment of these cases. The first was the delivery by version in the early stage, and the application of the forceps in the later; unless, indeed, the funis was pulseless, in which case the labour was left, as much as was consistent with the mother's safety, to nature.

C. Hæmorrhage. We need scarcely premise that this is treated of under the two forms of accidental and unavoidable hæmorrhage. The causes of the former were generally difficult to discover, but when discoverable were found to consist of falls, blows, over exertion, strong mental emotion, or some indiscretion. When cases came under treatment, before the os uteri had commenced to dilate, the horizontal position was enjoined, and a cool apartment, cold applications, cold acidulated drinks, and acetate of lead and opiun were prescribed.

The diagnosis between this and the unavoidable form of hæmorrhage was mainly determined by the constant oozing of blood during the intervals of the pains and its ces sation upon their accession, and by the absence of the placenta from the neighbourhood of the os uteri, the cervix uteri in these cases conveying to the finger a peculiar feeling of elasticity, which contrasted strongly with the soft and donghy feel which was experienced when the placenta was attached to a greater or less extent of its surface.

As to the treatment of these cases, the plan was to rupture the membranes as soon as possible, and if the os uteri were not sufficiently dilated to admit of this operation, ergot was given. Generally on the discharge of the liquor amnii the hæmorrhage ceased, and the pains set in with great vigour and frequency, otherwise ergot was again given, and if the bleeding continued after the head bad entered the pelvis, either the forceps or the perforator were resorted to, according as the child was believed to be living or dead. În one case only was the tampon introduced for the purpose of hastening the dilatation of the os uteri so as to admit of the rupture of the membranes.

Unavoidable hæmorrhage is subdivided into two varieties, according to the greater or Jesser extent of the placental attachment over the os and cervix; the one being called complete, the other partial placenta prævia—the former of course being infinitely the more dangerous variety..

The diagnosis of these cases was always easy--the occurrence of hæmorrhage during the period of the pains rather than during their cessation—the sensation given to the examining finger by the spongy placenta as distinguished from the elasticity of the amniotic Anid, and the inability to distinguish the fætal presentation in cases of placenta prævia, afforded adequate data for diagnosis.

In the partial variety of unavoidable hæmorrhage much the same practice was pursued as in cases of accidental hæmorrhage. The membranes were early punctured, and the case was permitted to proceed as naturally as possible; but when the os uteri was updilated the tampon was applied with the best results. In the complete variety of unavoidable hæmorrhage the tampon was at once introduced and retained until the os uteri was sufficiently dilated to admit of the introduction of the hand and the operation of turning. Subsequently we learn that the tampon usually employed was a sponge wrung out of warm water and smeared over with an unguent.

D. Convulsions are divided into apoplectic and hysterical, the latter, it is stated, being extremely rare. The treatment of the former is considered with reference to, their prevention as well as cure, and when patients were found labouring under anasarca, albuminuria, headache, or dizziness, before labour, the practice was to purge them freely and repeatedly with hydragogue cathartics; maintain a horizontal position in a cool ward, and allow none but the mildest and lightest nutriment.

With reference to the relations of albuminuria to convulsions, it was found that in nearly all the cases that came under treatment anasarca and albuminous urine were present to a greater or less degree, yet that convulsions did occur, and even in the most violent form, when neither anasarca nor albuminuria could be discovered.

The curative treatment consisted in free bleeding and purging as soon as the convulsion ceased, and during its continuance preventing the patient, as much as possible, from injuring herself or biting her tongue. Enemata of turpentine, or castor oil and assafætida were found useful, and if the convulsions returned, shaving the head, cold lotions, and tartar emnetic, with opium, were prescribed. Chloroform was seldom given, and consequently no inference could be drawn as to its efficacy. If the head were within reach the forceps were applied, but whenever the severity of the case was great perforation was unhesitatingly resorted to. Of the 63 so treated 13 died, or about 1 in every 5.

E. Rupture.--Including under this head cases in which the breach of continuity was confined either to the uterus, to the vagina, or both, 17 occurred, of whom 1 only recovered. In these the symptoms of impending rupture laid down in books were not always observed, and in one the event occured without any premonitory symptom whatever. Vomiting during the second stage of labour was always considered a suspicious symptom, especially when this had been severe or prolonged, and whenever paid, fixed and increased upon pressure, was referred to the pubes during the expulsive stage, that stage having been severe and protracted, the indication was to deliver as soon as possible by the means best suited to the particular case. The

symptoms of the actual occurrence of rupture were more constantly those which are usually observed, but the collapse, varied much in degree, and the sensation of something baving given way was not always observed. The treatment, after due attention had been given to the state of prostration and to the delivery, was directed to the subsequent peritoneal inflammation certain to take place, and mercury and opium were chiefly employed, the latter very freely.

F. Inversion of the Uterus.—This accident occurred but once during the seven years. It occurred in a primiparous patient, nineteen years of age, after an easy labour of six hours' duration. The gentleman in attendance, after having tied and separated the funis, had maintained the contraction of the uterus with the band above the fundus for a quarter of an hour, when, finding a tendency to draining, he increased his pressure, but not more than was usual. Whilst doing so the uterus was felt suddenly to yield and recede from his grasp, and he immediately saw it expelled from the vagina an inverted mass, with the placenta still attached. The organ was immediately replaced, the placenta baving been previously detached, and the patient made an excellent recovery.

G. Premature Labour.—The chapter devoted to this subject is chiefly of a statistical nature, but contains a few practical observations upon the treatment of abortion, from. which we learn that when a patient entered the hospital with hæmorrhage in the early months, two indications were kept in view-first, to endeavour to preserve the ovum, and secondly, finding this impossible, to effect its complete discharge as soon as practicable. The first indication was fulfilled by rest, a cooling regimen, acidulated drinks, acetate of lead with opium, and the other means generally employed for restraining hæmorrhage; the second, by the introduction of the sponge tampon, as already described, and the administration of ergot in ten-grain doses every two hours. We find no reference to the use of sponge tents in the treatment of abortion, and the patients would appear to have all done well without them.

H. Retained Placenta.— According to established practice, this is treated of under three heads having reference to the cause of the retention-viz. simple inertia, irregular contraction, or morbid adhesion. For the first, the practice was, if possible to make the uterus expel its contents before introducing the hand for the purpose of removing them; to effect this, cold applications, pressure, and frictions over the fundus were


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resorted to, and these failing, the hand was introduced. When the placenta was retained from irregular uterine contraction, whatever the character or variety of the contraction, such cases were all treated by the introduction of the hand. As regards morbid adhesion, artificial detachment was in all cases practised, and great care was taken to detach the placenta as completely as possible ; but if this were found impracticable without the exercise of undue force, as much was removed as had already yielded, and the remainder was left behind.

We have thus passed over in rapid review some of the more practical portions of the work, and have endeavoured to give in a condensed form the leading rules of practice which are at present observed in the Dublin Lying-in Hospital. Regarding it as one of the great centres of obstetric learning in this country, we have, in deference to this consideration, ventured upon little more than an analytical notice of the volume, and if in the analysis we have submitted to the reader he is enabled to discern but little that is original or novel in the practice, we would venture to observe that an important inference is deducible from the fact-viz. that it is not from such institutions that the many innovations and reputed improvements upon established practice which are to be found in the current literature of the day for the most part date their origin. He who has the responsible management of a lying-in hospital in which nearly 2000 women are annually delivered, can have little time or taste for engaging in abstract or speculative disquisitions, and must see the operations of nature conducted upon too large a scale to seek to control them by unnecessary artificialities. We accordingly do not find in the work any proposal for the conversion of natural into preternatural laboursno proposition for the abolition of craniotomy from obstetric practice, no rules of treatment founded merely upon speculative considerations. Hence, indeed, the great value of such works as the present: they reflect, as it were, a faithful image of the realities, dangers, and responsibilities of obstetric practice, as distinguished from its idealitiesthey show how these difficulties are capable of being met, how far successfully, how far otherwise, and they offer equally encouragement and consolation to all who are engaged in this arduous undertaking-encouragement, by showing how often the greatest difficulties may be successfully overcome, and consolation under failure, by showing how often the best directed efforts may prove abortive and unavailing.

We have ventured in the introductory observations of this article to point out what appear to us to be two great drawbacks to the practical value of this work, the one being a too great deference to artificial classifications, the other a redundancy of statistical calculations in reference to facts of little practical import. The former deprives many of the subjects treated of of their full value and interest, the latter sorely perplexes and confounds the reader who seeks to elicit from its pages the point and spirit of the work. We trust that the future historian of the practice of the Dublin Lying-in Hospital will guard against both these tendencies, and that he will bear in mind the excellent admonition of the late Dr. Gooch to those who are engaged in the study of midwifery _advice which appears to us to be as applicable to authors as to students :-"Watch

_ cases attentively, and take notes of their important particulars, and not lengthy notes containing a diffuse description of unimportant trifles, which from the time that they occupy, will soon cease to be written, and if written, are sure never to be read; but a short description of the leading circumstances, with an equally short mention of the reflections which they suggest.'


The Works of John Hunter, F.R.S.; with Notes. Edited by James F. PALMER. Four

Vols. 8vo. Illustrated by a Volume of Plates in Quarto.—London, 1835.


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The late re-interment of the remains of John Hunter has naturally recalled his memory to the public mind, and more especially and more vividly to the mind of that profession which he did so much to enlighten and to elevate. The publication of a collected edition of his works, now more than twenty years since, accompanied with introductory essays and explanatory notes, by men eminently qualified for the task, might well have been supposed to bave made his labours thoroughly familiar to the profession, and to have rendered superfluous any further attempt to exhibit the greatness and the peculiarity of his genius, to vindicate bis opinions from inisrepresentation, or to point out the benefits which he has conferred on various departments of medical science and practice. According to our observation, however, these effects have been slow in following. In a general way, the name of Hunter is invested with all imaginable honour; but his views are still very imperfectly understood ; several important results of his inquiries are frequently ascribed to others; he is praised for discoveries that he did not make, and censured for tenets that he never held; and, on the whole, if the broad question were proposed, “What did John Hunter achieve for science to entitle him to the lofty position which is so universally conceded to him ?" we apprehend that few even of his professed admirers would be prepared to give a categorical answer. Under these circumstances, we are induced to deviate somewhat from our ordinary track as reviewers of cotemporaneous authors, and to give as distinct an outline as we are able of Hunter's doctrines and opinions, and of the scope and results of his researches.

The particular discoveries of Hunter in anatomy, physiology, zoology, pathology, and surgery, would afford sufficient ground for assigning to him a very high rank among the contributors to each of those branches of science ; and there certainly never was any one man who contributed so much to them all, taken collectively. But it was not on his particular discoveries, great as they were, that his claims to our admiration and gratitude principally rest; his vast and profound generalizations from the observation of innumerable facts, throw both his own and all other individual discoveries into the shade, and entitle him to rank as one of the greatest of inductive philosophers, and as the first who brought the inductive philosophy to bear efficiently and profitably on the science of life and the study of disease. There is one great department of his labours which, though in extended and beautiful relation to all the rest, and shedding over all a broad and majestic light, stands in some measure apart, as a thing altogether peculiar in the history of human research and human industry, and as the work which bears the strongest impress of his individual hand, and in which the character of his mind is most singularly manifested in all its power and all its comprehensiveness—we allude to his

We propose, therefore, to dwell briefly, first, on Hunter's general doctrines and opinions ; secondly, on his particular discoveries; and, thirdly, on his museum.

In order to arrive at any just estimate of Hunter's general doctrines, we must have acquired an accurate conception of his views of life. These views were for a long time much misrepresented and misunderstood; and even to this day we too frequently find the name of Hunter associated with a mysterious hypothesis of the vital principle, which is supposed to have pervaded, and in some degree obscured, all his reasonings. Such a notion, however, can be entertained only by those who have no comprehensive acquaintance with his writings, and the fact of their prevalence shows how little familiar those writings are to a majority of our profession. Hunter, though he would himself probably have laughed heartily at the suggestion, had in him several of the elements of a poet, and among these, a strong tendency to figurative modes of expression; but there was another element of the poetic character which he certainly did not posses: , namely, a felicitous flow of language; on the contrary, his style of writing, generally more or less involved


and embarrassed, was sometimes so obscure as to be barely intelligible. We quote a curious

passage in which he falls into this peculiar kind of phraseology, and at the same time endeavours to account for and to excuse it :

“ This disposition to coagulate when out of the vessels, or when retained in them without motion till the consciousness of the use of motion, and of course of fluidity, is lost, is one of the effects of the life of the blood. I have used the word consciousness because we have no language existing answerable to all my views of the animal economy, and to coin words would not answer the purpose, because then I must have a dictionary of my own. I have not a word for expressing the cause of those actions which take place in the body, as if it was conscious that such and such things were going to take place. There are actions in the body which come nearest to consciousness of the mind of anything that I can conceive, and therefore I make use of this word, but it is commonly applied by philosophers only to the mind."*

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Taking into consideration these unfortunate peculiarities in Hunter's manner of expressing his thoughts, it is not to be wondered at that the analogical illustration of his meaning should sometimes have been mistaken for the meaning itself,t and that many should have derived from a partial and inattentive perusal of his works, very erroneous impressions of his opinions. Of all his writings, the • Treatise on the Blood, Inflammation, and Gun-shot wounds,' is the one that has been most generally read, and from which, therefore, the prevalent notions of his opinions have been chiefly derived ; but this abounds, more than any other, in the figurative expressions and obscurities of style just adverted to, and is therefore especially liable to be misconstrued by the reader who is unacquainted with the general scope of his writings. Again, the "Lectures on the Principles of Surgery,' in which he enters more explicitly than elsewhere into his views of the nature of life, were not published at all till within the last thirty years, and have probably never yet been perused by many who affect to be offended at his " hypothesis." În the introductory portion of these lectures, there is a passage which we think it well to quote, because it is very directly to the purpose, and shows at once how widely those have erred who have attempted to father upon John Hunter a doctrine in which the vital principle is endowed with a kind of personality and intelligence; though in truth if be had entertained such a notion, any one who is at all conversant with physiology will pot require to be informed, that it would have been no peculiar notion of Hunter's, but one that had floated through the speculations of physiologists from the days of Aristotle to those of Stahl.

“ Animal matter is endowed with a principle called in common language, life. This principle is, perhaps, conceived of with more difficulty than any other in nature, which arises from its being more complex in its effects than any other; and it is therefore no wonder that it is the least understood. But although life may appear very compouoded in its effects in a complicated animal like man, it is as simple in him as in the most simple animal, and is reducible to one simple property in every animal. I have observed that animal matter may be in two states; in one, it is endowed with the living principle, in the other it is deprived of 'it. From this it appears that the principle called life cannot arise from the peculiar modification of matter, because the same modification exists where this principle is no more. The matter, abstracted from life, appears at all times to be the same, as far as our senses and experiments carry us. If life arose ont of this peculiar modification, it would not be destroyed until the modification was destroyed, either by spontaneous changes or by some chemical processes; and were it destroyed by the last, it might sometimes be restored again by another process. Life, then, appears to be something superadded to this peculiar modification of matter; or this inodification of matter is so arranged that the principle of life arises out of the arrangement, and this peculiar disposition of parts may be destroyed, and still the modification from which it is called animal matter remain the same. If the latter be the true explanation, this arrangement of parts, on which life should depend, would not be ibat position of parts necessary to the formation of a whole part or organ, for that is probably a mechanical, or at least organical arrangement, but just a peculiar arrangement of the inost simple particles, giving rise to a principle of preservation; so that matter so arranged could not undergo any

* Loctures on the Principles of Surgery, p. 236.

+ Even Abernethy, from whom such istakes were little to have been expected, has been at the trouble of defending and enforcing wbat he considered as Hunter's view of the identity the vital and electric forces; whereas Hunter assuredly never entertained any such view.

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