« ForrigeFortsæt »
Detection of Typhoid Bacillus in Boiling Water. Dr. Ströll recommends, for the investigation of water of running streams suspected of being contaminated by the affection of typhoid fever, the use of "frames covered with cotton goods so placed in the stream that the water flows through them." They act as filters, and catch all the dirt in their meshes. The frames are removed from the water after being there several hours, and sprayed with sterile water. The sediment of this wash is drawn off after the liquid is thoroughly settled, and investigated in the ordinary way.
The Use of Chamberland Filters.' - Drs. Acosta and Granda, in an article in Centralblatt für Bakteriologie u. Parasitenk., refers to the popularity of these filters in Havana, Cuba, owing to the fact that the drinking water in the city is for the most part very bad. These physicians conducted their experiments with a view to determining if there is any reliability in the use of the Chamberland filters. Their conclusions are, that, for domestic purposes, owing to the carelessness of most families in using them, these filters are not only false security, but are positively harmful. In laboratories, where they can be employed with proper precautions, they are unquestionably good, but they are to be discouraged for household purposes.
Bactericidal Property of BloodSerum. Dr. Jetter, in his researches on this subject, finds, as Haffkine and Christmas have found, that the methods pursued to determine the disinfectant properties of the blood of the body, have given misleading results. In the International Medical Magazine, Dr. Abbot ends a note on the subject in the following language:
"The conclusion that has been drawn from these experiments has been that the reduction in number experienced by bacteria when introduced into blood-serum, results from the positive germicidal activity of the serum. In experimenting with a number of other substances, some of which were the ordinary materials used for cultivating bacteria, he has noticed, after inoculation, a diminution in the number of organisms originally introduced, so
"M. Ketcher says Ehrlich has demonstrated the possibility of conferring immunity to the poison and infection of tetanus through the agency of the milk of a previously vaccinated animal, etc. We have injected a virulent culture of the comma bacillus into two goats, subcutaneously, intraperitoneally, and intravenously. Five c. c. of the milk of one of the vaccinated goats protects a guineapig against a fatal dose of the comma bacillus, into whatever part the injection be made. The milk of an unvaccinated goat does not possess any immunizing power at all. The milk of a vaccinated goat injected into the peritoneum of a guinea-pig, not only immunizes it against any future infection, but even cures an already existing attack of cholera.”
Micro-organisms in the Milk of Healthy Women. It has been supposed that the milk of healthy women was perfectly free from microbes of any kind, and the presence of germs in this fluid was considered indicative of disease. Dr. Paleske reports that in his researches he found that the milk of healthy women is often contaminated with microbes. He places the number so infected at 50 per cent. These germs, according to him, belong to the cocci order, those most prevalent being known as the staphylococcus pyogenes albus.
MODERN MEDICINE been equally marked, the death rate being
less than half the ordinary mortality rate.
These are telling facts which ought to arrest the attention of those who consider alcohol a necessary or useful agent in the treatment of febrile maladies.
PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY THE
MODERN MEDICINE PUBLISHING CO.
A very earnest and eloquent address was delivered by the venerable Dr. Davis, who has, for so many years, stood almost alone in the profession as a champion of the cause of temperance. Dr. Davis was led, as the result of experimental inquiries undertaken by himself, to abandon the use of alcohol as a medicine more than forty years ago. Dr. Davis has, since then, been in charge of one of the largest public hospitals in Chicago, and has had, in addition, a very extensive private practice. He stated to the writer that during the last forty years he had treated 60,000 patients, to not one of whom had he administered alcohol. In Mercy Hospital, of which he has had charge for thirty years, he has within that period treated more than 1000 cases of typhoid fever, with a death rate of only 6 per cent, scarcely one third of the usual death rate when alcoholic stimulants are used. His success in the treatment of pneumonia has
J. H. K.
MEETING OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL TEMPERANCE ASSOCIATION.
THE meetings of the American Medical Association and the American Medical Temperance Association, recently held at Milwaukee, while not so largely attended as some have been, were exceedingly interesting. In some respects, these meetings were notable, and will mark an era in the history of both associations.
The meeting of the American Medical Association brought together leading physicians from all parts of the United States, and was also honored by the presence of Dr. Ernest Hart, an eminent English physician, known the world over as the distinguished editor of the British Medical Journal, the leading medical journal published. Dr. Hart gave an interesting address on cholera, in which he took the ground that alcohol must be altogether interdicted in the treatment of the disease named. His argument was that the patient suffering from cholera is already struggling with a deadly ptomaine, and that to load his system with alcohol, also a product of germ-action, and hence allied to the ptomaine of cholera, would be simply to burden the system with another toxic agent.
One of the interesting general features of the papers read in the Medical Association, was the frequent reference to the mistaken use of alcohol. There is probably no disease in which alcohol has been more frequently used, nor with greater confidence in its utility and even necessity, than in pneumonia; yet Dr. Washburne, an eminent Milwaukee physician, asserted that "the use of alcohol in
pneumonia to avert heart failure, has been modern research respecting the physioproven to be a mistake." Dr. Wash- logical properties of alcohol, and the relaburne further stated that the hospital tion of these properties to health and records of the past seventy years had disease. shown that, notwithstanding the many improvements in medical practice, the death rate of pneumonia had not decreased, but had rather increased. The statistics of the Boston City Hospital show an increase from 10 per cent in the decade from 1822 to 1832, to twentyeight per cent in the last decade. Dr. Washburne took the ground, which is amply sustained by recent physiological researches, that alcohol is not a heart tonic nor a stimulant, but a depressing agent, and hence aids in producing the very heart failure to avert which it has been administered. It seems very remarkable that it takes so many years for medical men to discover the noxious properties of a drug possessed of such decided and evidently depressing effects as alcohol.
The American Medical Temperance Association held a very interesting session on Thursday evening. The principal feature of the meeting was an able address by N. H. Davis, which will be published elsewhere. One of the editors of
this paper made a report, as a member of
The President and Secretary were instructed to arrange for the publication of a quarterly to be known as the American Medical Temperance Quarterly, which will constitute the organ of this association. The American Medical Temperance Association has before it a great and important work in the education of the medical profession in relation to the results of
The next meeting of the two associations will be held in California, by invitation of the California delegates.
THE NEW HYPNOTISM.
J. H. K.
AN interesting discussion has recently been in progress in the London journals in which both the lay and the medical journals have joined, and which have presented in a very lucid and exhaustive way both sides of the controversy as to whether hypnotism has any legitimate place in rational medicine. Dr. Earnest Hart, an eminent English physician, in two able articles entitled, "Some Phases of Hypnotism Exposed" and "Dangers of Hypnotism," gives the results of the investigations which he has recently. made in the hospitals of Paris and elsewhere, relating to the use of hypnotism in the treatment of disease. He quotes Babinski, of the Saltpetriere, who says, "Outside of hysteria there does not exist a single affection capable of being notably modified by hypnotism."
"The 'pabulum' of thought is sensation; without the constant rain of sensorial stimuli, intellectual activity must come to an end. Once cut the mind adrift from all impulses from the outer world, and of necessity all volitional and psychical processes soon cease. In illustration of this fact, Michael Foster adduces the case of a patient whose almost only communication with the external world was by means of one eye, he being blind of the other eye, deaf of both ears, and suffering from general anesthesia. The moment the sound eye was closed,
he fell asleep. The general mental activity varies in the direct ratio of its external stimulus. Again, we are only conscious of that which we attend, attention . . . being a mental state, the spontaneous or voluntary adjustment of the mind to a particular part of its environment; and this adjustment may, as its intensity grows, become fixed, and so preclude the possibility of any but the most violent sensorial stimuli unconnected with the one group, passing the threshold of consciousness, although these unfelt stimuli may yet result in appropriate actions.
"Of the myriad impulses that ceaselessly impinge upon our brain, few rise. to consciousness, those only to which we spontaneously or voluntarily attend. . . If the attention to one idea (or group of ideas) be strained to the point of fatigue, such attention may pass altogether beyond the control of the will, the whole mind may become filled with that idea, and all sensation unconnected with it may pass unperceived - in other words, a cramp of the attention ensues. .
"From the very earliest ages this phenomenon has been empirically known. Witness the Indian Fakirs and Yogis, the savage at the stake, the Christian martyrs, and the Omphalo-psychics of Mount Athos, who used to produce this spasm of the attention by the fixed contemplation of the navel, until they fell into the so-called ecstasy' and were completely shut off from the outer world. . . .
"Again, under normal circumstances, our memory of an event varies as to strength directly with the amount of attention we pay to it. . . . But in order to call up some past idea, the mind must have some present idea which is in some way allied to the past one. . . The mental continuity must be unbroken. Now, in the case of attention strained to its highest pitch of intensity, so that there is unconsciousness of everything but one
group of ideas, that group is totally disconnected from the normal environment, has no mental setting in that environment. One idea of the group may suggest another of the same group, but that is all. . . . Enough has been said, I think, to justify our acceptance of the following postulates:
"I. That general consciousness varies directly with external stimuli.
"2. That general consciousness varies inversely with the attention upon one idea or set of ideas.
"3. That the attention may be so 'strained' as to pass beyond the control of the will and to destroy the general consciousness.
66 4. That the attention upon one idea or group of ideas may be so great as to prevent that group from being remembered in the normal mental condition.
"For the synthesis of hypnosis let us add one other well-known and generally admitted law.
5. That an idea tends always to generate its actuality either in sensation or action.
"What is meant by this is, that the idea of an action or of a sensation tends to result in that action or sensation, and would inevitably do so were it unchecked, uninhibited by other ideas; that the nervous processes attending the real and ideal phenomenon differ only in strength. . . . Once let an idea obtain undisputed possession of the mind to the exclusion of others, and it inevitably generates its actuality.
"Now let us treat the hypnosis synthetically, and attempt to develop it in an imaginary patient by the application of laws which govern all mental manifestations.
First, we shut off as far as possible, impulses from the outer world. We place the patient in a position of rest and comfort, that auditory and tactile stimuli may be as small as possible, while we minimize ocular impressions by causing
him to regard fixedly a single point of light or by closing the eyes. Thought, whose very essence is the recognition of differences, is no longer stimulated by ever varying environment, the consciousness is diminished in extent, and the attention ready to leap forward to the operator's words or actions. . . . We attract our patient's attention, and hold it riveted by the vivid verbal development of a mental picture of sleep. As our delineation increases in vividness and emphasis, his attention becomes more and more cramped,' introspective criticism changes to intense conviction, as one by one suggested sensations become actual, as his limbs do become heavy and numb, his eyelids weary, and his brain drowsy and confused. . . . The more the patient is struck by the transference of suggested idea into sensation, the more is his attention engrossed, and, conversely, the more concentrated his attention upon the suggested idea, the the suggested idea, the more complete and rapid the transformation of that idea into its actuality. Finally, the patient's attention passes altogether beyond the power of his will. He cannot attend to anything but the operator's words, and is consequently unconscious of everything else."
The writer has seen something of the therapeutic use of hypnotism in the clinics of Professor Charcot at the Saltpetriere in Paris, and has watched with interest the experimentation with this form of mental therapeutics which has been going on within the last few years, but thus far does not feel justified in making any application of it. It would seem that those who are most subject to the influence of this method are persons of weak volitionary power, persons whose control of impulses and emotions — in other words, whose general volitionary power needs to be increased rather than diminished. The impression made The impression made upon a patient by hypnotism would seem to be that his own will is weak and of
little value, and that he is controlled by the will of some person of a stronger will than himself. The persons whom we saw operated upon at the Saltpetriere, were always persons of very weak volitionary power, emotional, excitable, ignorant, and superstitious. It would seem that the effect of this mode of treatment would be to increase the weakness of the will in the individual rather than to strengthen it. While it is true that symptoms may be temporarily abolished, it is equally true that the method is radically wrong, and deals only with symptoms, as does any other palliative, and does not strike at the root of the malady by strengthening the inhibitory power of the patient.
J. H. K.
THE HIPPOCRATIC OATH.
WE are glad to note that a few medical schools still retain the good old-fashioned practice of requiring their graduates to take the Hippocratic oath. It would be well indeed if every medical school in the country would administer this oath to its graduates, and still better for humanity if each graduate would carefully adhere to the principles enunciated by this first of medical philosophers. For the benefit of those who may never have taken the oath or read it, which, however, we hope does not include a large proportion of our readers, we here present this remarkable and most commendable expression of a physician's obligations:
"I swear by Apollo the physician, and Esculapius, and Allheal, and all the gods and goddesses, that according to my ability and judgment, I will keep this oath and this stipulation,- to reckon him who taught me this art equally dear to me as my parents; to share my substance with him and relieve his necessities, if required; to look upon his offspring on the same footing as my own brothers, and to teach them this art if they shall wish to learn it, without fee or stipulation; and that