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some treatise on diseases of childhood. Dr. Smith's work would suit such readers most admirably.
In being written by one whose experience is American, it possesses a great advantage ; for, as we all know, the climate of a country alters in a great measure the type of a disease, and many diseases of childhood are almost absent, or, at all events, not so prevalent in England as they are in America. The summer diarrhoea of children affords an example of one of these.
The earlier chapters are connected with the bringing up, the feeding, the clothing, etc. of children. Of the artificial feeding of infants, Dr. Smith's statistics are alarming.
“ Thus, on the continent, in Lyons and Parthenay, where foundlings are wet-nursed, the deaths are 33.7 and 35 per cent. On the other hand, in Paris, Rheims, and Aix, where the foundlings are wholly dry-nursed, their deaths are 50.3, 63.9, and 80 per cent. In this city, (New York) the foundlings, amounting to several hundred a year, were formerly dry-nursed ; and incredible as it may appear, their mortality with this mode of alimentation nearly reached 100 per cent.”
The subject of systolic brain murmur in children, which Professor Osler brought before the Medico-Chirurgical Society of Montreal some time ago, is referred to by the author in connection with rickets. “ Later observations have established the fact, that this murmur possesses little diagnostic value. It is heard in healthy as well as diseased infants. Dr. Wirthgen detected it 22 times in 52 children, all of whom, except four, were in good health. I have auscultated the anterior fontanelle in 29 infants who were, with two exceptions, between the ages of three and thirty months. Most of them were well, or with trivial ailments, which would not affect the cerebral circulation. In most infants with a patent fontanelle, a murmur can be distinctly heard, synchronous with the respiratory act, and in 15 out of the 39 cases, no other bruit could be detected, while in the remainder, namely 14, a bruit synchronous with the pulse was heard at the fontanelle."
Dr. Smith ignores the ingenious theory of Jurasz, that these brain murmurs are due to want of correspondence in size between
the internal carotid artery and the bony canal through which it passes in the base of the skull. The researches of his own countrymen, Drs. Fisher and Whitney, deserve recognition.
In the treatment of whooping-cough the remedies found most useful and which are most employed in the New York institutions, are belladonna, quinine, the bromides, and the hydrate of chloral.
“ The use of quinine as a remedy for pertussis, was first strongly recommended by Binz, who embraced the theory of Letzerich, that this disease is produced by a fungus upon which the quinine acts injuriously.”
Fungus or no fungus, the remedy is an old one. The use of Peruvian bark in whooping-cough was recognized long ago. We quote from Cullen's “ First Lines," chap. vii. paragraph mccccXXV :
“ Of the tonics, I consider the cup moss formerly celebrated, as of this kind; as also the bark of the mistletoe, but I have had no experience of either, as I have always trusted to the Peruvian bark. I consider the use of this medicine as the most certain means of curing the disease in its second stage ; and when there has been little fever present, and a sufficient quantity of the bark has been given, it has seldom failed of soon putting an end to the disease.”
The chapters on cerebro-spinal meningitis deserve special commendation, the author from his official connection, with so many institutions for children in New York, being able to give valuable information about this terrible disease.
Apropos of the relationship between rheumatism and chorea, which is thought by some pathologists to exist, attention is drawn to the somewhat remarkble difference in the statistics of different countries.
“In England and France, so large a proportion of choric patients present the history of rheumatism either in themselves or family, that certain physicians of these countries believe that rheumatism is the most common cause of the disease. In Germany, on the other hand, according to Romberg, in the majority of cases no relation can be traced between chorea and
rheumatism, and the statistics of this city (New York), and I think of this country, correspond with those in Germany."
The best part of the whole book is that relating to the intestinal catarrh of infancy. Dr. Smith is a strong believer in the benefit of country air, and his opinion, will no doubt be endorsed by practitioners in Canada. He thinks the high temperature of summer is not directly the cause.
“But the state of the atmosphere which is most favourable for the development of intestinal catarrh, is found only in the cities. The filthy streets containing more or less decaying animal and vegetable matter, the crowded and unclean tenement houses, the neglected privies, the slaughter-houses, pig-pens, bone-boiling establishments and the like, are so many sources of the most deleterious effluvia, which, inspired by the infant, produce diarrhea, and intestinal inflammation. Those squares of the city, where sanitary regulations are most neglected are the very ones where the mortality from this cause is largest.”
Such is the experience of the profession in Montreal, we ven
ture to say.
The perusal of Dr. Smiths's work has afforded us much pleasure and still more instruction. Its place is amongst the first of American medical works. There is no work on the subject we can more conscientiously recommend to our readers. Clinical Diagnosis.--A Hand-book for Students and Practi
tioners of Medicine. Edited by JAMES FINLAYSON, M.D., Physician and Lecturer on Clinical Medicine in the Glas. gow Western Infirmary. Examiner in Clinical Medicine to the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow, &c., &c. with eighty-five illustrations. 8vo. pp. 548. Philadelphia : HENRY C. LEA.
There are a great many manuals of Clinical Medicine, hand-books of physicians,—and others with different titles, but a similar end in view, already published. Of course many of these are valuable to students, and those beginning the practical observation of cases of diseases at the bedside of the sick in a hospital ward. One great fault of several of them, it has appeared to us, lies in the stray, harsh, dogmatic lines that are drawn in establishing different diagnoses between complaints apt to resemble each other. This every experienced physician knows does not exist in nature and it is therefore incorrect to start a student with the idea that that is what he is to expect to find. It is a fault which is quite inseparable from the plan of endeavoring to give very short and concise lectures for the distinctive systematic diagnosis of most of the important diseases. This procedure is not followed at all in this little book, but, on the contrary, it aims at, and succeeds in, being rather an assistant of personal observation, whilst at the same time it contains much that is eminently instructive, there is more which is suggestive. It does not make any attempt to cover the ground of diagnosis—which is so manifestly impossible—but it discusses in a brief, terse manner, all the important symptoms of each class of diseases, pointing at their connections with each other and with those of other classes, attention being directed to all collateral circumstances which assist in the careful observation of a case as a whole, and in comprehension of such as are governed by definite pathological laws. The method and arrangement is, we think, especially adapted for the wants of students, and we would earnestly recommend it to all such, for constant reference whilst reporting cases in the Hospital. To give some idea of the scope of the work (premising that each section has a fair amount of space allotted to it) we give the list of contributors and their subjects. For a special feature of this book is that it is the joint work of several of the prominent physicians of Great Britain-each one, as in the cyclopædias of medicine, writing that part pertaining to the branch with which he himself is most familar. Dr. Gardner on the physiognomy of Disease. Dr. Finlayson, On Case-taking, and On Symptoms of Disorders in the Venous Systems. Dr. Wm. Stephenson, On the Disorders of the Female Organs. Dr. Alexander Robertson, On Insanity. Dr. Samson Gemmill, On the Sphygmograph, and on the Examination of the chest and abdomen. Dr. Joseph Coats. On the Examination of the Fauces, Larynx and Nose, and on the Method of Performing Post-mortem Examinations.
Epitome of Skin Diseases with Formulæ.-For Students and
Practitioners.-By TILBURY Fox, M.D., F.R.C.P., and T. C. Fox, M.B., B.A. (Cantab). Second American edition, enlarged and revised by the authors. Philadelphia :
HENRY C. LEA, 1879. We have much pleasure in strongly recommending for the careful study of our readers this excellent little book. The study of skin diseases is enveloped in far too much mystery in this age of specialism. There is nothing whatever in the diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases which is outside the province of the general practitioner. It is for him and for students that this little book is written. This, the second American, is a decided improvement on the English edition, for it contains an excellent summary on the difference in skin diseases found in America and those found in England. The most useful part of the book to the every-day practitioner will, doubtless, be the Cutaneous Pharmacopeia appended. The last chapter on “ Diet in Skin Diseases,” demands very careful attention.
Extracts from British and Foreign Journals.
Unless otherwise stated the translations are made specially for this Journal.
The use of Eserine in Glaucoma-(By W. SPENCER WATSON, F.R.S.)- In a communication to the Medical Times and Gazette in February last, I remarked that “ sulphate of eserine in the form of collyrium was said to be useful either when, from any cause, the operation is delayed, or after the operation if the tension returns.” Recent experience has convinced me that this reputed power of eserine is not a mere illusion. I can fully endorse the views expressed by De Wecker in his recently published work (“ Thérapeutique Oculaire ”), in which he lays down as a rule that eserine should always be employed before and after an operation for glaucoma, whether the operation chosen be iridectomy or sclerotomy. I have been agreeably surprised at the manifest advantages of employing it under these circumstances, and now find that operation may be safely postponed in certain cases for a week or ten