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ble and valuable to the farmer or breeder, while at the same time scientifically exact in matters of diagnosis and treatment, and especially full in the latter branch of the subject. The best authors in Great Britain have been freely used, Prof. William Williams, Finlay Dun, Gamgee, and others, beside those of our own country whose writings are of most value, Law, Townshend, etc. At a time like the present, when a knowledge of the best methods of controlling the epidemic diseases of cattle is of such vast importance to us financially, and animals are regarded also as being the possible source of certain human disorders, the study of their diseases assumes a new interest.
SANITARY IMPERFECTIONS OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AT
THE NATIONAL CAPITAL. By Health Officer Townshend's report on the condition of public buildings at Washington, it would appear that some of them are reeking with dangerous miasma, due to imperfect ventilation. The Treasury Building in particular, covering an area of five hundred and twenty-eight by three hundred feet of ground, and sheltering two thousand persons, was in such foul condition that Mr. Townshend suffered violent attacks of headache even from the comparatively brief period which he was obliged to spend therein. The air in rooms on the fourth floor was unfit for breathing. The rough means adopted for ventilation, skylights, were found closed in every instance, because of the draughts they created when opened. There is abundance of air space, and this is the only salvation of the workmen, but there are no means of ventilation. In the binding-room bad smells were everywhere encountered. The dressing-rooms are “ perfect pest-holes.” Close attic-rooms, portioned off into stalls, are literally packed with the clothing of the employees. In endeavoring to demonstrate the situation, Mr. Townshend asks his readers to imagine the condition of a small room in which were hung the contents of the wash-baskets of two hundred families, — clothing which has absorbed bodily impurities for days and weeks. The only means of ventilation were skylights, again, and these remained closed. In addition to this condition of things the working clothing is deposited here during the night, and packages of cold food of nearly all the employees are likewise left in this apartment. The press-rooms, five in number, employ four hundred and forty-six persons. Impurities are generated by chemicals on hot plates, and other materials. Numerous gas jets and surrounding rooms add their impure air, no means being provided for ventilation. Moreover, each individual has but two hundred and seventeen cubic feet of air instead of five hundred, the minimum quantity sanctioned by authorities. The condition described is no fault of the officers in charge, for everywhere cleanliness was noticeable. Winder's Building and the Government Printing Office, are likewise at fault, though the former is in better condition as to its atmosphere than the other buildings. Mr. Townshend gives statistics of deaths in the District of Columbia, wbich clearly show that a much smaller death-rate would be the certain result of better ventilation in the public buildings, and for this he appeals in a manner which we trust will not be disregarded.
PROGRESS VERSUS CONSERVATISM. We are again in the midst of the season of the annual meetings of societies and associations, with their attendant addresses, papers, reviews of work done, and incitement to work to come.
We publish to-day a report of the late meeting of the Connecticut and Pennsylvania State Medical Societies, and are also fortunate enough to be able to give our readers an abstract of Dr. Garland's address before that of Massachusetts. The character of these meetings has been gradually changing for the better in the direction of seriousness; the social does not stifle the scientific element to the extent it once did. Papers of positive and permanent value are sometimes brought out by these occasions, and if in our own society they are not always listened to at the time, as Dr. Garland properly observes in his address, let us hope it is because they are done greater justice to by a subsequent perusal, an opportunity for which is offered in the columns of the JOURNAL and in the published Transactions of the society. But it cannot be denied that in general there is still room for improvement in the spirit and transactions of annual meetings, and this the annual addresses are much less likely now than formerly to allow us to forget. In this respect the fourth of July has almost ceased to affect us for evil. The shout of exultation has yielded to the warning monotone of the Greek chorus. The things left undone which ought to be done form a more grateful theme to the speaker and a more wholesome one for the societies than the glorification of the res acta.
This tendency may, however, in its turn, be carried too far. Too much sackcloth causes an eczema, easy to acquire but hard to be rid of. Change and progress are not always synonymous, and the wisdom of a decade does not easily outweigh that of many centuries. In the abstract all allow that it is better to do old things well than to attempt many new ones. The admission of women to the medical department of an old university and to membership in the state society are matters in regard to which we have at different times had occasion to express no uncertain opinion, in acting upon which we think there is little danger of progressing too slowly. With patience let us strive yet a little to improve things as they are, even though we run the risk of sharing the fate of a professional colleague in Connecticut, who not only married a female physician, with homeopathic views, but consulted with her, and was expelled from the state society, all of wbich would not have bappened had Harvard made suitable provision for her education.
MEDICAL NOTES. Through the liberality of Sir Richard Wallace, the British sick poor of Paris have been provided with a hospital, to be called the Hertford British Hospital. It is a fine building. The patients will be under the care of experienced physicians, a lady superintendent, and nurses, all of their own coantry.
– Eighty journals relating to the medical sciences are now published in Paris.
– A Western physician in attendance upon a confinement case which terminated in an obstinate and dangerous hæmorrhage, after exhausting every means at hand to arrest the flow (he had neither ergot, nor ice, nor brandy, nor syringe, nor any form of hæmostatic), finally seized the poker, and heating it red hot cauterized the spinal region over a surface about four inches square. The uterus contracted at once, expelling the doctor's hand; the hæmorrhage ceased, and did not reappear. The patient's life was barely saved. The doctor must have learned that during a confinement certain things should
a be at hand.
Prof. S. P. Sadtler has been elected to the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, rice Robert Bridges, M. D., resigned. - M. Bronardel replaces the late Professor Tardieu in the chair of legal medicine in Paris. fessor of therapeutics in Paris, recently died in Toulon of the same malady cancer of the stomach – which carried off Trousseau, his immediate predecessor but one in the same chair. — Dr. Clouston has been appointed lecturer on mental diseases in the University of Glasgow. This is a new lectureship. — Hebra was chosen president of the Imperial Society of Physicians at Vienna by a vote of 129 to 54.
Dr. Gubler, pro
- An unusually large number of changes in the corps of instructors in the various medical schools has taken place this year at the close of the spriug session.
Dr. John T. Darby having resigned the chair of surgery in the medical department of the University of New York on account of ill health, and having been made professor emeritus, Dr. J. Williston Wright, professor of obstetrics in the same institution, has been elected professor of surgery; while Dr. William H. Polk, professor of materia medica and therapeutics in Bellevue Hospital Medical College, has received the appointment to the chair left vacant by Dr. Wright's resignation.
At the Bellevue College Dr. A. A. Smith, one of the lecturers on clinical medicine, has been appointed lecturer on materia medica and therapeutics in addition, and will in time, no doubt, receive the full professorship, as was formerly the case with Dr. Polk. Dr. Joseph W. Howe, for some time past professor of clinical surgery in the university school, has received the same appointment at Bellevue. This makes three professors with the same title there, the other two being Drs. Alexander B. Mott and Erskine Mason.
At the College of Physicians and Surgeons Dr. Thomas T. Sabine has been appointed professor of anatomy, Dr. H. B. Sands having resigned that position and been made adjunct professor of surgery. Dr. Mattbew D. Mann has resigned the lectureship on clinical microscopy, in consequence of removal to Hartford, Conn. Just before his departure from the city a dinner at Delmonico's was tendered him by some of his medical friends, and quite a number of gentlemen were present to do honor to the guest of the evening, among them being Drs. Fordyce Barker, Charles C. Lee, Wm. H. Polk, Robert F. Weir, E. C. Seguin, James B. Reynolds, Joseph E. Janvrin, Wm. M. Chamberlain, Beverly Robinson, P. Brynberg Porter, Willard Parker, Jr., Paul F. Mundé, and
Frank H. Bosworth. Dr. Mann will still retain his position as one of the editors of the Archives of Medicine.
- In his speech following the oration of Professor Gross, at the dedication of the monument to Dr. Ephraim McDowell, which took place at Danville, Ky., on the 14th of May, Dr. Sayre made a very happy hit, which created the most unbounded enthusiasm among the immense audience present, by an allusion to Dr. McDowell's patient. Another fact strikes me very forcibly, Mr. President,” said Dr. Sayre, “and that is the heroic character of the woman who permitted this experimental operation to be performed upon her. The women of Kentucky in that period of her early history were heroic and courageous, accustomed to brave the dangers of the tomahawk and the scalping-kuife, and had more self-reliance and true heroism than are generally found in the more refined society of city life; and hence the courage of Mrs. Crawford, who, conscious that death was inevitable from the disease with which she suffered, so soon as this village doctor explained to her his plan of affording her relief, and convinced her judgment that it was possible, immediately replied, "Doctor, I am ready for the operation ; please proceed at once to perform it.' All honor to Mrs. Crawford! Let her name and that of Epbraim McDowell pass down in history together as the founders of ovariotomy."
– The ceremony of laying the corner-stone of the building of the New York Bible and Fruit Mission took place on the 27th of May, when the Rev. Dr. Howard Crosby, chancellor of the university, presided, and the Rev. Arthur Brooks, the Rev. Dr. Wm. M. Taylor, and Drs. C. R. Agnew aud D. B. St. John Roosa participated in the exercises. The field of this charity, which has been in successful operation for a considerable period now, is to a great extent among the hospitals on Blackwell's Island, as well as those in the city proper, and the site that has been selected for the new edifice is at the foot of East Twenty-Sixth Street, opposite the entrance to Bellevue Hospital.
On the same day the annual reception of the country branch of the Nursery and Child's Hospital (the institution in whose behalf the grand charity ball is given each year at the Academy of Music) was held at West Brighton, Staten Island. There are very extensive grounds, which are in an elevated and healthful location, and the children, instead of being crowded together in one large building, are divided among a number of pleasant little cottages, which are models of tidiness, and which bear the names of various patrons of the charity. It is stated that the mortality at this branch establishment, which has now been in existence for nine years, is five and one half per cent., while that of the city department is fifteen per cent.
– Every week or two cases of small-pox are being discovered among the Bohemians occupying a certain tenement-house district in the eastern portion of the city. As a rule they are a very ignorant and degraded class, who seem to have an unconquerable prejudice against vaccination, and when small-por appears among them they would rather die than be sent to a hospital where they would be well taken care of. They would also prefer to have their children perish rather than let them be taken there, and hence they always endeavor to elude the vigilance of the health authorities in every possible way. A short time ago it was reported to the board of health that a little Bohemian
boy, four years old, in this district, was suffering from small-pox, but when the disinfecting corps went to the house with an ambulance to remove him to the Riverside Hospital, it was discovered that the family had hastily removed, taking the sick child with them, and could not be found. About a week afterwards the board was notified that the family had returned to their former quarters, and that the boy was dead, when a coroner's inquest was held, and small-pox declared to be the cause of death. On the same day another child in the same neighborhood was reported to be sick with the disease, but when the officials reached the house it was found that this family also had fled.
CHICAGO. At the recent meeting of the Illinois State Medical Society, held at Lincoln, about eighty members were present. The meeting was harmonious, and business was hurried so that little discussion followed the reading of papers. About a dozen papers were read, which mainly embodied discussions of different topics and reports on the progress of certain departments, without recording anything particularly in the line of original research. Dr. Ephraim Ingals, of Chicago, was elected president.
The faculty of the Chicago Medical College have recently voted to dispense hereafter with the summer course of lectures and recitations, and to extend the winter sessions to six months continuously, so that lectures will be given by the regular faculty from the first of October till the first of April, at which the graduations will take place.
The question of the abuse of medical charities has begun to engage the attention of the profession in Chicago, as it has in the large cities of the East. Quite frequently complaints are heard from physicians that the college clinics and dispensary services take away their patrons who are well able to pay for both treatment and medicine.
The plan so far pursued in the largest of our general dispensaries, is to have patients, before being prescribed for, interrogated by a physician appointed for the purpose as to their ability to pay. If he thinks, after this examination, that any one is not a proper subject for dispensary treatment, such person is at once dismissed. Notwithstanding this care unworthy persons are often treated. Some people are fertile in resources of deception, and probably the most painstaking investigation of the circumstances of every person applying for free treatment would not succeed in rejecting all the undeserving ones.
The Illinois Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary, which has a very large attendance upon
its dispensary service, has recently put into practice a new means for the prevention of this abuse. Each patient applying for treatment, is now required to sign and swear to an affidavit that he is without means and utterly unable to pay. This scheme has been in operation hardly two months, but it is a sad comment on the sacredness with which an oath is held by civilized people with sore eyes and ears, that so far the plan seems to have increased the number of well-dressed people applying for treatment, and who find no difficulty in subscribing to the affidavit.