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tants, situated on the border of the county, two miles from Ashland, Schuylkill County. There are several smaller towns or villages in the county, of which we will mention Orangeville, Rohrsburg, Espy, Jerseytown, Lightstreet, Mimin, Buckhorn, Iola, and Numedia.
Our Society meets regularly every three months in Bloomsburg, and several times during the past year we have held special meetings at intervals of one and two months. Our meetings are always interesting and instructive; the attendance, however, is not as good as it should be; the majority of the regular physicians of the county are not members of the Society. Why it is that so large a number of the members of our profession stand aloof from these societies, which have for their chief object the elevation of the standard of the profession, I cannot conceive.
As regards the diseases prevalent in the county during the past year I have but little to report on outside of the range of my own practice and personal observation, for notwithstanding the fact that I have sent requests to upwards of a dozen of the members of our Society, requesting their assistance by furnishing material for this report, I have received a reply from but one member.
The only epidemic of importance that has occurred in Catawissa and its vicinity during the year was one of rubeola, or what is commonly known among the people as French” or “ German" measles. It has been prevailing for some six or eight weeks, though, perhaps, there are no cases at present. The epidemic has been very general in its progress, very few of the children of the community escaping its visitation, while a large number of adults were also attacked, though I saw no cases of the disease in persons of over forty years of age. As regards the nature of this affection and the position it occupies among the exanthematous diseases, I remark that I believe it to be a specific contagious disease, distinctly separated from both measles proper and scarlatina, though from close observation I am convinced that in the character of the eruption it resembles the former rather than the latter disease. In a number of the well marked cases in the epidemic through which we have just passed, the disease might readily have been taken for genuine measles, had that disease been prevalent. All the cases that came under my observation recovered without any untoward symptoms. For a very thorough treatise on this disease I would refer the reader to vol. ii. Ziemssen's Cyclopædia of the Practice of Medicine (by Thomas).
Dysentery prevailed to a considerable extent during the months of August and September. The disease was of the ordinary type; all of the cases under my care recovered. In one case under my care the stomach rejected almost everything that was administered in the medicine line; after various futile attempts to overcome this
difficulty, I suspended all medicines, giving her simply ice, ad libi. tum, and a small quantity of wine, occasionally repeated ; she also took of the juice of canned huckleberries and blackberries. From the time I commenced the ice, she gradually improved.
Malarial diseases have prevailed to a very limited extent.
Diphtheria, mostly of a mild type, was met with to quite a large extent during the winter months, while simple and ulcerated sore throat also prevailed to an unusually large extent. All of my cases of a diphtheritic character in which the diseased action was confined to the fauces and pharynx, recovered. The only fatal case under my care was one of diphtheritic croup, a report of which I read at a meeting of the Society, and will insert it here.
Case of Diphtheritic Croup.-Was called to see Lillie C., aged 10 years, Tuesday noon, Feb. 15, 1876. The history of the case given at that time was that she had commenced complaining in the morning of the previous day of sore throat, attended school, lowever, the whole day; upon making an ocular examination of the fauces, I found a diphtheritic deposit pretty generally covering the mucous lining; the diseased action bad also invaded the anteterior and posterior nerves. My diagnosis, as already intimated, was diphtheria; I put her on the following treatment: tr. ferri chlor., spr. æth. nit., potassa chlor., and quinia sulph. As a topical application to the fauces, I employed a solution of carbolic acid, tannin, and glycerine. The case progressed well so far as I could discern until Thursday, when the fauces and nasal passages seemed nearly restored to a healthy condition. At this time, I noticed a slight boarseness (a symptom, by the way, that I have noticed in quite a number of cases about the time that convalescence was established), and by Friday morning her voice was so far lost that she was unable to speak above a whisper.
I now recognized the fact that a diphtheritic exudation had taken place in the larynx and trachea, and that I, therefore, had to contend with a dangerous disease. Though the treatment from the beginning had been active, I now commenced a more energetic one. I increased the doses of the tincture of iron and quinine, gave frequently of a saturated solution of chlorate of potasså ; I also put her on calomel and ipecac., the latter for its dissolving effect, and the former with a view of hastening if possible the detachment of the false membrane. I also had the patient frequently inhale steam impregnated with carbolic acid. The fumes of slaking lime were inhaled a few times, but owing to the resistance of the patient this was not persisted in. The atmosphere of the room was kept in a moistened condition by vapor from water constantly kept heated. The strength of the patient seemed to be well sustained until Mon
day morning, when indications of exhaustion were manifested. I now supplemented the treatment by the administration of brandy and carbonate of ammonia, by which the system was considerably recuperated.
On Monday evening she ejected by coughing a portion of the false membrane two inches in length, from the whole inner surface of the tube for that distance; her breathing was at once much relieved, so much so as to enable her to rest pretty comfortably for several lours ; she again became more uneasy, and at 6 o'clock on Tuesday morning she coughed up another portion of the membrane, fully three inches in length. Her breathing now became comparatively easy again and her symptoms generally were improved. Active supporting treatment was continued in the way of medicine, alcoholic liquors, and food. But despite all we could do the vitality of the system gave out, and death by asthenia closed the scene on Wednesday, at 12 P.M.
As the value of a course of treatment is generally estimated by its results, I do not know that any advantage is to be derived by reporting this case; yet as it was successful so far as the removal of tlie false membrane is concerned, it may not be wholly devoid of profit.
Two cases of incontinence of urine in children, recently under my charge, were cured by belladonna and camphor combined in pilular form.
Catarrhal fever has prevailed largely among children during the spring months. All the cases under my treatment recovered. One case complicated with capillary bronchitis was so low, however, that I told the family that the child would most likely die. At one time I thought it was moribund, but finding it could swallow I commenced the administration of stimulants, and it soon revived ; I then continued wine or whiskey every half hour for three days, and it finally recovered.
Pneumonia has prevailed to a moderate extent.
Rheumatism has beea quite prevalent the past spring. As to the treatment in this affection, I am favorable to the alkaline treatment, combined with other appropriate remedies. Dr. A. L. Turner, of Bloomsburg, is an earnest advocate in favor of the application of blisters to the affected joints. Dr. Evans, the President of our Society, while suffering from a severe attack of the disease, by the advice of Dr. Turner, applied blisters successively over ditferent joints, and reports having been fully relieved of the pain, as soon as vesication was produced.
L. B. KLINE, M.D., May 31, 1876.
REPORT OF THE CUMBERLAND COUNTY MEDICAL SCCIETY.
The geography, lıydrography, topography, and geology of Cumherland County having been described in formier reports, nothing else seems to be necessary for me at this time than to give a sketch of its history.
Cumberland County was organized in the year 1750, from a portion of Lancaster County, being the second county organized from one of the original provinces of William Penn. Cumberland County originally embraced fully one-fourth of the territory of Pennsylvania, including at the time of its erection all that portion of the State now comprised in the counties of Green, Washington, Fayette, Westmoreland, Somerset, Cambria, Blair, Bedford, Huntingdon, Fulton, Centre, Union, Snyder, Juniata, Perry, Mimin, Franklin, and portions of Lycoming, Clinton, Clearfield, Indiana, Armstrong, Allegheny, Beaver, and probably parts of Montour, Sullivan, Columbia, Luzerne, and Bradford counties.
It is because she has contributed so much territory to the formation of other counties, that she often receives the familiar title of Mother Cumberland.
Previous to the settlement of Cumberland, it was occupied by the Shawnee Indians by the permission of the Six Nations, who in 1736 sold the land to the proprietaries. Settlers had, however, intruded upon it before that time, and when organized into a county it contained a population of 807 taxable inhabitants.
It was called Cumberland, and its chief town Carlisle, after the Shire of Cumberland, in England, of which Carlisle is the seat of justice.
It was settled by Irish and Scotch-Irish, however, rather than hy English; the proprietaries instructing their agents in 1755 to encourage the Irish to settle in Cumberland, and the Germans in York, to prevent collisions between the two. The Germans, however, being good judges of land, soon found their way to this beautiful and fertile portion of the State, and in many parts of the Cumberland Valley they have supplanted the original Irish and Scotch-Irish settlers.
All of these (especially the Germans) being quite ignorant of medical science, and of the structure of the human body, brought with them many superstitious notions with regard to the treatment of the sick, all of which have been carefully handed down from father to son, and from grandmother to granddaughter; so that in many parts of the country, and among a class of people from whom better things might be expected, there is more faith put in the manipulations of some ignorant old woman than in the treatment of an intelligent practitioner. Even in this enlightened age, many believe that pow-wowing is the only thing for a burn, and that a hair from the head of a woman who never saw her mother, is an infallible remedy for whooping-cough.
It is no wonder that where such superstition and ignorance abound, quackery should flourish, and homeopathy find many advocates, and that when nature, without the aid of medicine, effects a cure, the credit should be given to pretentious impostors.
Few people possess the disposition or the power to investigate for themselves the claims of those who pretend to medical skill, and hence when apparent success attends a case or two submitted to those pseudo-practitioners, many are found ready to admit their claims and employ their services. What is most to be deplored, however, is that some of oar regular graduates are bringing reproach upon their alma mater, and injuring the profession by encouraging quackery for the sake of pecuniary gain and personal popularity.
Our Medical Society is still enjoying a good degree of prosperity, the members generally being punctual in attendance, and manifesting much interest in the proceedings. A few of the members, however, I regret to say, lack interest in the Society from some cause or other, which I am unable to determine.
I have received but one communication for this report. Dr. R. L. Sibbett, of Carlisle, reports the following case of
Rupture of the Perineum.—Mrs. W., aged thirty years, of medium size, and delicate, applied for relief, uncertain as to the nature and extent of her affliction. Fifteen months had elapsed since the birth of her third and last child. During this time she suffered very much from diarrhea, and was unable to retain the contents of her bowels. An examination showed at once her situation, which her physician was apparently ignorant of. There was rupture of the perineum extending into the recto-vaginal septum one inch and a half, caused, as she now believes, by her several parturitions.
To control her diarrhea and build up her system were the first objects aimed at. These were accomplished by the use of an emul