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MINUTES OF THE SECTION
STATE MEDICINE AND PUBLIC HYGIENE,
MAY 4, 1875. The Section met at 3 P. M. HENRY I. BOWDITCH, M.D., of Massachusetts, Chairman of the Section, presided.
The Secretary, Dr. HENRY B. BAKER, of Michigan, not having yet arrived, Dr. A. N. BELL, of New York, was made Secretary
Reports of committees were called for, but the chairmen were not yet ready to report.
The Secretary then appeared and assumed his duties.
The following named gentlemen were present: Drs. HENRY I. Bowditch of Massachusetts, HENRY B. BAKER of Michigan, A. N. BELL of New York, J. H. VANDEMAN of Tennessee, B. H. CATLIN of Connecticut, S. A. Foss of Kentucky, T. B. GREENLEY of Kentucky, B. B. LENOIR of Tennessee, SAMUEL LILLY of New Jersey, A. J. ERWIN of Ohio, John H. Rauch of Illinois, J. J. QUINN of Ohio, JOSEPH WILSON of the U. S. Navy, H. A. JOHNSON of Illinois, WILLIAM FAULDS THOMs of New York, A. B. STUART of Minnesota, J. S. BILLINGS of the U.S. Army, and R. SAUNDERS of Ken. tucky.
Reports of committees being again called for, the Secretary stated that no reports bad as yet reached hiin; that the committee of wbich he was chairman--on Form of bill for establishing a National Department of Public Health at Washington—was not yet ready to report, that it might report before the close of this meeting. Dr. STUART, a member of the committee on Ventilation of Dwellings, School-houses, and other Public Buildings, said he thought Dr. Kedzie, the chairman, had prepared a report, and that it would come before the close of the meeting.
| This committee did not report, and was not discharged. It expects to report to the Section at the next meeting of the Association.
Dr. A. N. Bell, of Brooklyn, member of the Section for New York, then read a report upon Defective Drainage as a Cause of Disease in the State of New York. The report of Dr. Bell being under discussion, Dr. Bowditch asked Dr. Bell in what manner he would construct a perfectly tight drain. Dr. BELL replied that for a sewage pipe he would have an iron pipe made tight by being lead-calked, and having traps for all inlets. A hard earthen pipe is sometimes used, but it cannot well be made so perfectly tight as the iron pipe lead-calked. Dr. Thoms asked what size and form he would approve. Dr. BELL replied that very large pipes were now condemned.
ned. The egg-shaped ones were in favor. Dr. A. J. ERWIN, of Ohio, questioned whether a proper system of surface drainage, combined with a proper system of scavenging, cannot be made to yield better results than the imperfect system of sewerage now employed in many of the smaller cities. Dr. BELL said that this had been adopted in some of the smaller foreign cities. Dr. ERWIN said that until a complete system of sewerage can be secured, better results may be expected from the safer system of drainage combined with the removal of garbage., Dr. RAUCH, of Chicago, asked Dr. Bell if he thought the Albany Committee were warranted in attributing the deaths from consumption to imperfect drainage. Dr. Bell was also asked if the cases of scarlatina were fairly attributable to bad drainage. Dr. Bell replied that although those diseases may not be thus caused, deaths from them may
be very greatly increased by bad drainage. Dr. BOW DITCH spoke of the ventilation of sewers, privies, etc., by conveying the gases up to the tops of houses. He suggested the question whether the gases are properly disposed of in that manner. Dr. QUINN asked if sewer gases are dangerous when discharged at the tops of houses, and when escaping at the street level, is there not some method whereby they may be safely disposed of? Dr. — thought that when the ventilating shaft extends high enough the danger from this source is not great. Dr. RAUCH suggested that a shaft is not
. necessarily a ventilator; the motion of the air therein might sometimes be downward.
A report on Climatology and Diseases of Nebraska, by Dr. JAMES H. PEABODY, of Omaha, was then presented and referred to the Secretary to be reported the following day.
Dr. Thoms, of New York, read a paper on Floating Hospitals.
His paper was illustrated by drawings and charts. He offered a resolution which occasioned much discussion. Dr. Thoms thought that if the attention of the profession was called to it, this would be found to be a satisfactory method of giving the children of cities an opportunity of obtaining fresh and pure air. Dr. Vandeman thought that if the plan were adopted on the inland rivers in this vicinity, many deaths would result from intermittent fever and malarial diseases. Dr. BowDITCH remarked that although no floating hospitals were used at Boston, they intended taking the children down the Bay to an island, and benefit was expected from it. Dr. Thoms said that his resolution only recommended these floating hospitals in those places where it is practicable, all things considered; that he did not advise the adoption of this method on inland rivers in malarial districts. Dr. S. A. Foss, of Kentucky, stated that in this city (Louisville) excursion trips on the river had been taken, and it was believed, with benefit, if confined to the time of daylight. Dr. Thoms recommended his plan as a means of avoiding the intense heat of summer in certain localities. He remarked that a cooler air is found on these floating hospitals than in the tenements in cities. Dr. Wilson, of the Navy, thought that malaria would never pass a continuous surface of water of one mile in width, that a river two miles in width might be traversed safely, even though passing through a deadly malarious region, if one did not go ashore at night. He maintained that it is the marshy bank of the river from which danger is to be expected. The resolution was slightly amended and adopted as follows: Resolved, That this Association approves of the system of giving patients the benefit of the pure air of our bays, lakes, and sounds, and recommends its adoption wherever practicable.
Dr. BOWDITCH, the Chairman, read a paper by H. P. Bowditch, Professor at Harvard University, on A Plan for Recording the Growth of Children of Different Nationalities, in order to illustrate the Influence of our Climate.
Dr. Bow DITCH presented certain papers, relating to a circular sent out by him as Chairman of the Section, and on motion they were referred to a committee of one, to report May 6. The Secretary was appointed such committee.
On motion the Section adjourned.
MAY 5. The Section was called to order by the Chairman. The foilowing named gentlemen were present: Drs. C. S. TUCKER of Michi. gan, A. N. BELL of New York, S. A. Foss of Kentucky, J. H. VANDEMAN of Tennessee, WM. ABRAM LOVE of Georgia, D. W. HAND of Minnesota, WM. S. EDGAR of Missouri, S. LILLY of New Jersey, Geo. S. HANCOCK of Indiana, A. D. PRICE of Kentucky, A. HAZLEWOOD of Michigan, JOSEPH WILSON of Massachusetts, HENRY B. BAKER of Michigan, A. B. STUART of Minnesota, J. S. Billings of the U. S. Army, JOHN H. Rauch of Illinois, MARTIN STEVENS of Ohio, A. G. SMYTHE of Mississippi, J. J. Quins of Ohio, F. A. SEYMOUR of Indiana, A. W. STINCHFIELD of Minne. sota, THAD. M. STEVENS of Indiana, HENRY JAMESON of Indiana, and WILLIAM FAULDS THOMS of New York.
The report of the Committee on Ventilation was received and referred to a committee consisting of Dr. A. N. Bell, to report the following day.
The Secretary was asked to report regarding the paper, referred to him the previous day, relating to the Climatology and Prevail. ing Diseases of Nebraska. He reported having read the paper with much interest, that, being for a new State, the report was apparently not based upon very numerous or extended meteorological observations, but somewhat upon general impressions of the subject; that he regarded it a valuable contribution to the sanitary survey of the country. . The report contains a statement of the total death-rate in Nebraska compared with that in other States, and of the death-rate from certain diseases compared in the same way, the statistics being taken from the Ninth Census of the United States. This method of comparison, although in accordance with the U. S. Census, he did not consider a proper one. He recommended that the paper be read in its order.
Dr. BELL then read his paper on Hemlock Poisoning. Dr. A. B. STUART, of Minnesota, remarked that the paper was one of great interest to him; that he had been called to examine into a case of poisoning which was supposed to have been caused by eating wild parsnip, but which proved to be conium maculatum. From the fact stated in this paper, that the beart weigbed 19 oz., whereas Dr. Flint places the weight at about 8 oz., and Dr. Gray at from 10 to 12 oz., he thought that death in Dr. Bell's case was more likely to be from hypertrophy of the heart, which under the cir