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DR. BATTEY, of Georgia, having been called upon by the chairman to report the year's progress in Battey's Operation, said: At the International Medical Congress, held in London last year, this operation had been assigned a prominent place amongst the subjects for discussion in the section of obstetrics and gynæcology. It was fully discussed and definitely set down amongst the recognized resources of the surgical art. This is progress. He had for years felt so much awe and dread of the extreme conservatism of John Bull, that he had not dared to cross the ocean and seize the beard of the lion crouched in his native lair. At last the advance came from the other side, and he has been invited to open the discussion in London. This is progress. An eminent Scotchman, whose genius has caused him to be transplanted from his native heather into the wards of St. Bartholomew's, London, and whose extreme conservatism causes him to stand so erect, that, like our bronzed neighbor upon the border, he actually leans over backwards, has encountered in his own practice a case for the cure of which he has found it necessary to invoke Battey's Operation. This is progress.
. In the city of Birmingham one surgeon has done the operation twenty-six times in a single year, and with but one death. This is progress. In the same city another surgeon did the operation a like number of times without a single fatality. This, too, is progress.
While in Great Britain he was consulted in regard to the propriety of the operation upon a girl as a prelude to her marriage. Battey's Operation as a preparatory step to matrimony ! The proposition was startling to a degree; and yet, after careful examination and deliberate thought upon the individual
case, he was constrained to give it his approval. This is progress. The operation has been advised by eminent authority in the case of a titled lady, wife of a peer of the realm; and this is progress.
Finally, it has been proven, in a series of cases, that the operation can be safely done without the use of the carbolic spray, and, indeed, without the use of carbolic acid in any form. This, too, is progress.
By M. GREELEY PARKER, M. D.,
We have here an instrument invented six years ago. It has been found very useful, and so simple in construction that, with the aid of a tinsmith, any one can make it. Its mechanism, which is cheap, simple and effective, speaks for itself.
A familiar experiment in chemistry demonstrates that a heated piece of platinum foil, suspended in the vapor of alcohol, remains heated a long time. This is because of the peculiar property of platinum, which, when heated, continues oxydizing the fumes of the alcohol-alcohol being one of the hydrocarbons that feed the heated platinum by supplying the hydrogen, the air supplying the oxygen.
Sponge platinum is still more sensitive than the foil; benzine and gasoline are the best of the hydrocarbons for supplying hydrogen.
My first experiment was to fill a platinum tube, having pinhole openings at one end, with sponge platinum, and force the fumes of benzine through it. This gave me heat, but the sponge was too delicate to last. After considerable experimenting, I ascertained that the action of nitro-muriatic acid on thin platinum in a few hours roughened or oxydized the surface, so that it became nearly as sensitive to the hydrocarbon fumes as the sponge platinum.
Thus I was able to make my tubes strong and durable by taking a piece of thin sheet platinum and folding it around any hard substance, the size of the tube to be made, folding the edges double and pinning the lap several times before the last turn on the tube (this saves soldering with gold), nearly closing one end, leaving two or three pinhole openings for the gases to escape. I fill this tube with thin scraps of platinum, well packed in, covering the outside with paraffine, and immersing the whole four or five hours in nitro-muriatic acid, then washing it well, we have a tube ready for use. Attaching this to a brass tube, connected by a rubber tube to the pump, we bring the platinum tube to a red heat by the flame of a spirit-lamp (I have even done it with a match), and pumping the hydrocarbon fumes through it, the heat continues increasing as we pump. The hot gases escaping from this platinum tube will cauterize without the instrument touching the parts, and afford a convenient way of cauterizing surfaces. By covering this first tube by another platinum tube, closed at one end, the instrument is made ready to cauterize by actual contact. The tin handle serves as a reservoir, being filled with sponge saturated
1. Platinum tube, with pin hole openings, filled with scrap platinum. 2. Platinum tube to cover No. 1. 3. Brass tube. t. Rubber tube. 5. Rubber nipple. 6. Rubber pump. 7. Tin handle filled with sponge. 8. Brass tube from air-chamber to lower part of handle inside.
with benzine. To this handle is attached the bulb or pump of the ordinary atomizer, having an elastic air-chamber above it, made of a common unperforated rubber nipple. The tube from this chamber runs to the lower end of the handle. This handle reservoir renders unnecessary a separate receptacle for benzine, leaving one hand free to work the pump, while the other directs the cautery.
This very instrument I have used since 1876; the first time I used it was to cauterize the stump of an ovarian tumor for Dr. Gilman Kimball, of Lowell, in presence of Dr. H. O. Marcy, of Cambridge, and others. Soon after this we introduced this large tube cold into a cancerous os uteri, then inserted the hot tube into the cold one already introduced, and pumped till the cancerous parts were deeply cauterized. The burn healed
well, and two years after the cancer had not returned. The GREAT advantages of introducing the tube cold are apparent.
This instrument is applicable to many things in the arts, and has been patented by another gentleman and myself. In the Patent Office I first learned of a somewhat similar instrument invented by Dr. Pacquelin, he having applied for a patent a little in advance of myself. Letters Patent were granted to both. In my patent I reserved to myself the use of the instrument for all medical or surgical purposes, which use I freely give the profession.