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teem with well directed attacks against the quackeries of the day. Speaking of Homeopathy, (p. 363 of the Reporter,) Dr. Collins 'expresses his belief, that " it would have fallen to the ground long since, had it not been for those of the regular profession, who previously had little to do, and possessed but little, if any real honesty, and took up the practice because it was something new, and that money was the ne plus ultra of their ambition.". Now, there may be, we repeat, persons in the profession, who might be disposed to connect remarks of this kind, with the case in question, and therefore, acquitting, as we do most cheerfully, Dr. Collins of all participation in this extra professional publicity, and attributing it wholly to the intemperate haste with which the editors of our smaller prints seek to communicate information to their readers, or to be more charitable, to the delight felt by them as philanthropists, in the pain-saving process which they had just witnessed, we feel some regret that they were not cautioned against making the publications which they have done. It is perhaps proper to say, that in the little heading to the note subsequently published by Dr. C., the editor of the Sun states, that he attended the operation, “at the invitation of a friend."
We had hoped in this number of the Annalist, to have noticed the papers of Dis. Warren and Bigelow, in the No. of the Bost. Med. Journ. for December 9th, but space fails us. In our next we will consider them, and with some general remarks on the subject of medical patents, take leave of the unpleasant topic altogether. The following paragraph we append by authority :]
The newspapers of the city have published accounts of some experiments in the New York Hospital, in the case of a new nostrum for rendering patients insensible during surgical operations. We learn that this experiment was made without any consultation of the Surgeons of the Hospital, or any previously expressed concurrence on their part.-New York Annalist.
Sickness at Algiers.--According to the Gazette Medicale, the hospitals of Algiers, are at present overcrowded with the sick. Numbers of patients labouring under fever are daily rejected from the civil hospital. Notwithstanding the exertions of the medical officers, numerous patients die without assistance.-Med. Gaz.
Gases in sea water---M. Lewy s:ates that sea water holds only half as much gaseous matter as river water, and that the quantity varies according to the hours of the day. Thus he found in the waters of the ocean the following proportions :
RECORD OF MEDICAL SCIENCE.
NEW SERIES.-No. XXVI.-FEBRUARY, 1847.
A singular case of complele closure of the Vagina, with subse
quent conception, and safe delivery at the full period of utero-gestation. By ROBERT P. SIMMONS, M. D., St. Louis, Mo.
Some time towards the end of March, 1846, I was consulted by Mrs. E. B. W., a respectable married woman of this city, in reference to a mal-condition of the sexual organs, which she said rendered her unhappy in her domestic relations, and which she greatly desired to have remedied, should it be thought practicable. It not being convenient at the time to learn the history, or to enter upon an examination of the case, I promised to wait on her in a few days. Accordingly, on the second day of the following month, (April,) accompanied by my friend Dr. John Barnes, whom I invited to be present, I visited Mrs. W. for the purpose of making an examination of her condition. Before
Before pro ceeding to do so, she detailed to us in substance the following history:
In the month of July, 1844, she was confined with her first and only child; had a laborious and very protracted labour, in which she suffered almost beyond endurance; the child was still born and unusually large; at the time of its birth she was exhausted and unconscious of what had happened. In a very few days after her accouchement,acute phlegmonous inflammation invaded the soft parts, terminating in sloughing, with excessive and longVOL. X.
continued suppuration; and it was not till the middle of October following, that she could begin to date her recovery. Some time during the succeeding month (November) she became aware for the first time of her peculiar and unhappy condition--a complete closure of the vagina, which she observed “has continued unchanged to the present time.”
Mrs. W. was attended in her accouchement by a medical gentleman of this city, who corroborates all she has said touching the severity of her labour, but, for some cause or other, he lost sight of the patient shortly afterwards, and can give no account of her subsequent and protracted illness.
Mrs. W. is a native of Ireland, aged 40 years, sanguineo-nervous temperament, possesses a good constitution, and never, as she informed us, failed to menstruate at her regular monthly periods, as well since as previous to her long confinement in 1844, except when she was pregnant, and at the period immediately preceding this examination, which she missed, and which ought to have been, as she said, about the middle of March, 1846.
Mrs. W. willingly submitted to an examination, with the hope that something could be done to remedy the defect. Accordingly she was placed on the bed, with the thighs elevated and the parts properly adjusted to the light. On proceeding to the examination, we could perceive nothing defective or unnatural in the labia externa, clitoris and fourchette, but on separating the labia to their fullest extent, we found the nymphæ almost entirely obliterated, and a dense fibrous structure presenting to our view, extending from the orifice of the urethra to the fourchette, and across from the base of one labium to that of the other, blocking up the mouth of the vagina completely, and resembling more than anything in appearance the palm of one's hand, when in an extended position. Dim tortuous lines of cicatrices were perceptible, and the whole surface of this structure presented to the touch a smooth, dense, elastic feel, but no opening or cavity what. ever could be perceived. Impressed as we were, however, that an orifice or orifices did exist, from the circumstance of the menstrual discharge not being interrupted, we continued the examination for more than an hour with the greatest care and minuteness; used the smallest sized probes, applied them to every point of this structure and in every direction to its surface; also to the rugæ of mucous tissue lining the clitoris, fourchette and orifice of urethra, but we were unable to discover a single orifice or fissure communicating with the cavity of the vagina or uterus, The orifice of the urethra was of usual size, and occupied its natural situation-admitting the easy introduction of a medium sized catheter and its ready passage to the bladder. Our attention was then directed to the exploration of the urethral canal, believing
it possible that a fistulous orifice might be found near the opening of that libe, through which the menstrual fluid made its way from the uterus. Probes of various forms and sizes were used, but without obtaining the object of our pursuit; and ascertaining from the woman, that at no time during her menstrual flow did she perceive the discharges, either per urethram or per anum, even in the slightest degree tinctured with that fluid, we declined the further prosecution of our inquiry.
Unwilling at that time, to give a conclusive opinion with regard to the propriety of an operation for the restoration of the vaginal tube, I deferred doing so from time to time, until the latter part of July following, when the husband of this woman called to inform me that his wife began to suspect herself pregnant. I supposed at once that her fears arose from the suppression of menstruation, which I was aware had not appeared since the middle of February, this period being about six weeks previous to my first examination. I advised the man to go home and say to his wife that she was mistaken, assuring him at the same time that such an event was a total impossibility; and he, poor man, having too long had sufficient proofs of his wife's inaptitudesin this way, readily acquiesced with me in opinion. [called to see Mrs. W. on the 8th of August following; perceived that she had increased in size since I saw her last, and was about as large as one at the middle period of gestation. She repeated to me that she had not menstruated since the middle of February, and said that "she felt something move within her belly." The first time, as near as she could recollect, was about the middle of July.
Previously immersing my hand in cold water, I applied it to the abdomen, causing her suddenly to change her position from side to side, but I could perceive no motion. I then questioned her more critically than I had done, with regard to her sensations and aptitudes on the embrace of her husband. She declared to me her total incompetency to afford her husband any reciprocity in sexual intercourse, and also assured me that at no time since her misfortune in 1844, did she ever experience any other sensation than that of disrelish on his embrace. She further stated that she had a kind and effectionate husband, and it was on ac. count of his privation alone, that she was induced to make her condition known to me. “If I am in the family way, it is as much a mystery to me as it is to you, Doctor, but from the way I feel, there surely must be something living within me"
The case now became exceedingly interesting, and although I still doubted the possibility of pregnancy, I offered no further objections to her own diagnosis, based as it was on evidence so conclusive to her, and which, the issue of the case has proven, was more certain than the lights by which I was governed in physiological science.
Mrs. W. requested me to keep her case in view, and if she were pregnant to attend her in her confinement; assuring me at the same time that she would look to no other source, except to her God, for help in her approaching tribulation! I continued to visit her occasionally, and as often found her increasing in size, and the abdomen presenting the feel and contour of one containing a growing fætus in utero.
Fully satisfied as I was with regard to the actual condition of this woman, as herein stated, yet I felt solicitous for additional testimony, should she turn out to be pregnant, and with that view I obtained the consent of Mrs. W. to allow another professional friend, Dr. Cornelius Campbell, to make an examination of her case.
He accordingly did so, with me, on the 3d day of September last. On this occasion we made the same close and minute examination that was done by Dr. Barnes and myself on the 2d of April,-used the smallest sized probes of every shape and form,_applied them in every direction and to every point of the fibrous structure blocking up the vagina; also between the folds of mucous tissue lining the labia pudendi, &c. &c., but we were equally unsuccessful as I had been before, for no passage or orifice whatever could be found communicating with the vagina.
The catheter was readily introduced into the bladder, as on a former occasion, but we could find no track from the urethra 10 the vagina or to any other cavity. Neither was there any malformation of the anus or fistulous orifices about its margin. This was the last ocular examination I had of the case; and I must here express my extreme regret that I was not permitted to have a cast or drawing taken of the parts, by which a clearer and more accurate idea could have been conveyed of the appearance and condition I have endeavoured to describe.
On the 20th of October last I was requested to visit Mrs. W. as a patient. She had been very ill the night previous, and complained of distressing pains in the back and loins, rendering her unable to be easy in any position more than fifteen minutes at a time. She was as large as one very near the full period of gestation, and by placing niy hand on the abdomen I fell, for the first time, the motion of the fætus. During the continuance of a pain I made an examination per os externum, and found the structure referred to presenting to the touch the same feel that it did on former examinations. There was no fulness or distension of the parts which the descent of a fætus and collected waters within the membrane would indicate; I was, however, fully convinced that the poor woman was pregnant, and pre