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The recent conversazione of the Royal College of Physicians, which is always one of the features of the season, was perhaps remarkable for the number of new scientific instruments which will probably soon in various ways come into use in medical practice, viz., improved sphygmographs, the microphone, and the phonograph. You are aware that Sir Henry Thompson has already made some noise about the employment of the microphone for the detection of stone. It is complained that the sound of the “click” reached the Times office as soon as it did the ears of the bystanders! As an example of the way in which the phonograph may possibly be useful, I might mention the suggestion which I heard made by a well-known alienist the other day to cause a patient affected with general paralysis or other forms of nervous speech derangement, to register his peculiarities of accent by this instrument, and thus by setting the clock-work in motion, every one of the modifications, &c., would be most accurately reproduced at any time, and could thus be used for purposes of illustration or comparison.
Lymphadenoma is a disease attracting a good deal of attention. Cases here appear to be tolerably numerous, but there certainly appears to be much wanting a good description of the points of differential diagnosis between this disease and strumous enlargement of the cervical glands. There is a case however, of an undoubte l character under Dr. Bristowe in St. Thomas' hospital, where the glandular enlargements are very general ; there is enormous enlargement of both sides of the neck pressing deeply against the pharynx and upper part of the larynx. Tracheotomy has been performed for a month with great comfort to the patient. He wears an elastic rubber trachea-tube, which is only removed once a week, and seems to answer extremely well.
I had the pleasure of hearing Professor Burden Sanderson's Harveian oration. It was made much more interesting than one might have expected. He left the ordinary ground of following the course of Harvey, as an investigator, and tried to impress upon his audience, especially addressing the younger portion, the advisability of devoting themselves earnestly and continuously without hope of any immediate reward, to the investigation of the medical problems of the day, and to the observation of nature with strict records of facts obtained. He particularly insisted upon the necessity of such men travelling. He believed it to be too much the custom at present to be confined to the London schools, but he considered it just as requisite in the present day to spend some years in foreign countries for all men devoting themselves to original investigations, as it was for Harvey to have
spent five years at Padua after he had completed a full curriculum in London and obtained the English degrees.
Sayre's plaster of paris bandages have become so popular since his demonstrations in this country that anything connected with that subject can hardly fail to interest your readers. The surgeons of the National Orthopädie Hospital have been experimenting with a new substance which they are hopeful will supersede the heavy plaster. The composition is a patent, and the exact composition not known. Sheets of this material, which is a kind of felt impregnated with certain gums and resins, are made into a cylindrical form. Measurements of the patient are made and from this a block like a shoemaker's last is fitted out to approximate to the patient's size and outline.
A portion of the sheet is blocked on this and sent to the operator. When the patient is slung, the felt bodice is simply heated over a gas-stove, when it becomes perfectly pliable and can be smoothly adapted to the body. It sets quite hard in two or three minutes. It is then laced up in front. The advantages of course are lightness, cleanliness, and the fact that it can be removed as often as desired without any ill-effect whatever, I saw two cases treated with it and was pleased with the working of the material. The objections to it are too obvious to require mentioning
You will be pleased to hear that the small volume of Pathological Reports lately issued from the Montreal General Hospital has been extremely well received by those best competent to judge of its scientific merits. I have heard it in some quarters very highly complimented. Having now attended several of the best autopsy-rooms in London, I have not yet found one in which the post-mortem examinations are conducted as well or as systematically as they are in our own General Hospital.
Roviews and Motices of Books. A Manual of Operative Surgery. By LEWIS A. STIMSON,
B.A., (Yale) M.D., Surgeon to the Presbyterian Hospital, Professor of Pathological Anatomy in the Medical Faculty of the University of New York. With 332 illustrations, 8vo., pp. 477. Philadelphia : Henry C. Lea, 1878. Mon
treal: Dawson Brothers, St. James Street. In the preparation of this manual the author has endeavoured to render it complete as regards the details of the descriptions of operations, to meet the wants of the surgeon and also the student of medicine and surgery, taking care however not to over-burthen his work with minuteness of detail in non-essentials. Still, where he deemed it necessary, he has not hesitated to describe very fully the method of performance of operations and the anatomical relation of parts. He divides the work into seven parts. In part I. we have considered the accessories of an operation, such as anæsthetics, means of arresting hæmorrhage, treatment of surgical wounds, the outure and bandages. Part II. is devoted to the ligature of arteries. Part III. to amputations. Part IV. to excision of joints and bones. In part V. is considered neurotomy and tenotomy. Part VI. treats of plastic operations about the face; and in part VII. we have considered special operations. Fully half of the book is devoted to this part, and we have the subject discussed in nine chapters.
In the first chapter is given operations on the eye and its appendages. Then we have operations on the ear and its appendages; on the mouth and pharynx; on the neck; on the thorax; on the abdominal wall, stomach and intestines ; on the genito-urinary organs of the male ; the same of the female ; and finally a description of miscellaneous operations. These latter consist of splenotomy, subcutaneous osteotomy, erectile tumours, birth-mark, web-fingers, cicatricial flexion of phalanges and ingrowing toe nails. The type is clear and well impressed ; the illustrations are all that can be desired. Every department is fully illustrated by engravings, which will be found of incalculable use to the surgeon. The description of each operation is concise and clear. We commend this work to our readers ; in many respects it is superior to Joseph Bell's little work on the same subject, and which for years past has been the familiar guide to the student in following a course of operative surgery.
Fownes' Manual of Chemistry, Theoretical and Practical.
Revised and corrected. By HENRY Watts, B.A., F.R.S.
Dawson Brothers, St. James Street. Fownes' Elements of Chemistry has been a favourite text book for many years. The work is designed to give the student a general outline of the principles of chemistry and serve as an introduction to the larger and more voluminous works on this science, and furthermore to fit him for the perusal of original memoirs, which, together with practical work in the laboratory, can alone lead to a real acquaintance with the spirit of research, and the wonderful resources of chemical science. The first three editions were brought out by the author, or nearly so, as the third edition was nearly completed before his death in 1849. At the commencement of the following year the third edition appeared edited by the late Dr. Bence Jones. The six following editions came out under the conjoint editorship of Dr. Bence Jones and Dr. Hofmann. The tenth edition in 1868, was published by Dr. Bence Jones, and the present edition by Mr. Henry Watts. These gentlemen found it necessary to make considerable alterations and additions in almost every part of the work in consequence of the numcrous changes which had taken place in chemical knowledge. The chapter on General Principles of Chemical Philosophy was re-written. Considerable additions to the description of the metals were made and the greater part of Organic Chemistry was re-written, and in the last English edition a vast amount of new matter was added, so
that it was deemed desirable to divide the work into two volumes, the first including chemical physics and inorganic chemistry, and the second being devoted to organic chemistry. In previous editions there is to be found a portion devoted to physiological chemistry, including a description of the tissues and fluids of the animal body, and also a description of the functions of nutrition and respiration. In the present edition however this part has been omitted, in consequence of this department of chemistry having become so extensive as to demand consideration in a separate work.
In this the American edition, the publishers announce that in reprinting the works by the use of a small but exceedingly clear type, it has been compressed into one volume.” This however has not been done at the expense of any portion of the work, and the American editor has confined any additions he may have found advisable to make to the narrowest compass.
We feel convinced that it is alone necessary to announce this work to ensure a large demand, as it is one of the best manuals issued from the press, and has always been a favourite text book.
Nervous Diseases, their Description and Treatment. — By
ALLAN McLANE HAMILTON, M.D., Fellow of the New
thers, St. James Street.
The subject of insanity has not been gone into, as he believes that it demands a more careful and extended notice than could be accorded to it in a work of this size ; cerebro