Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

of the disease is, perhaps, a pain in the hand, foot, arms, legs, eye, brain, lungs, stomach, or bowels. Any one, or a number of these locations in connection, may be primarily affected-sometimes there is a sensation of cords drawing at the back of the neck, producing stiffness. In one case, there was contraction of the occipito-frontalis, and the muscles of the face. In many cases, there is so much sore. ness of the surface, as to render the smallest amount of clothing intolerable. It is usually ushered in with a chill of variable intensity, succeeded by similar reaction, and this reaction is followed in from 3 to 12 hours by a second chill, and if disorganization has not previously taken place, (which is often the case) it appears to accompany, or immediately succeed it. In many cases, there is excruciating pain in the arms, legs, and other parts of the body, and this pain, when located in the limbs, is often accompanied by swelling of the joints and more or less loss of the use of the limbs, with stiffness and inability to move them. These pains are sometimes permanent, but at others, shifting from one point to another. The neck is often drawn backwards or forwards at an angle of almost 45° from its natural position, and so rigidly fixed, that it would break it short off to force it to resume its physiological position, and is swollen very much larger than its ordinary size. The external surface is sometimes beautifully spotted; and in a few cases there was an exanthematous eruption. The nervous system is deeply involved. There may be profound coma-wild and furious delirium, --subsultus tendinum, &c., apoplexy and paralysis. In one case, there was blindness of one eye, accompanied with permanent pain in the head; also swollen joints, (terminated fatally.) Lungs may or may not be implicated. Stomach the seat often of nausea and vomiting. Bowels, nothing character. istic. In a few cases, there was gastro-enteritis. Trismus occurred in one case. In other cases, there was an inability to swallow any thing, from the swollen and painful condition of the larynx and pha. rynx.

Elilogy. Most common form 10 to 15 years of age ; but occurs at all periods of life. It resembles in many respects the prevailing disease of our country, (at the tiine of its occurrence last spring,) which was a modified form of pneumonia. There was, in both, the same soreness of the surface. The chill ushering in; the pneumonic symptoms and the swelling of the joints were similar; and the worst forms of the prevailing disease, and this malignant scourge, were similar in their duration, termination, &c. From these facts I infer, that they are produced by the same general cause, and that there exist local causes where it prevailed giving its malignant type. The disease is confined to a section of country in the Missouri River bottom, which was the seat of a great overflow in June, 1844, at which time an extensive layer of sand was deposited upon the soil, entombing large crops of vegetable matter. After the overflow, this bottom has been unusually healthy until last spring, whilst the rest of our country has suffered far more from disease than usual. Would it be philosophical or scientific to say this overflow produced these local causes?

Prognosis is unfavourable: five-sixths die. In many cases, it is death ab initio. When fatal, it is generally so in from six hours to two days.”

DR. RUSCHENBERGER, U.S. N.

This able medical officer, whose services in the Navy have been long highly appreciated, not only when afloat, but in the naval hospitals of the country, and who has been not less distinguished for his incessant efforts to elevate the character of the corps, and to obtain for its officers—in which he succeeded—a fixed rank in the Navy, has left the Naval Hospital, New York, to reside in the place of his nativity-Philadelphia. Of that hospital he has had the professional care for four years; and has been succeeded by Surgeon Waters Smith.

The following—we believe, unusual-testimonial is honourable to the giver and the receiver, and we have no doubt was as true as it is honourable; and, although at the risk of offending the modesty of the party most concerned, we publish it as an incentive to others to merit the same tribute.

Navy DEPARTMENT, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Sept. 2d, 1847. Sir,- I have to inform you, that the Board of officers, ordered on the 16th inst. to examine into the state and condition of the Nával Hospital at Brooklyn, then under your charge, have submitted their report to this office.

The character of this report is so highly com. plimentary to yourself, I deem it proper to furnish you with an extract, as follows :-" The order, method, cleanliness and good discipline everywhere apparent, from the sick' wards to the most inferior offices, were highly satisfactory. The exact system of accounts deserves to be particularly noticed as an act of justice to the surgeon, who has devoted great pains and much labour in the details.

“ Unusual attention was observable in the Laboratory Department, which has been turned to a good account, in an economical view, in

}

the preparation of many articles of materia medica, as well as securing uniformity in the strength of various preparations."

I have the pleasure to add, that I am authorized to signify to you the high satisfaction entertained by the Department for the very able manner in which all your duties have been performed while Surgeon in charge.

Respectfully,

THOMAS HARRIS,

per J. L. Fox, Assistant to Chief. Dr. W. S. W. RUSCHENBERGER, Surgeon, U. S. Navy, Brooklyn, N. Y.

DOCTOR ANDREW COMBE.

[We are indebted to a friend for the following notice of Dr. Combe, which will be read with interest, especially by those who are conversant with the admirable productions of his pen.]

of the death of Dr. Combe, our readers have been apprised through the public papers. On us devolves the duty of indicating the special merits of our deceased brother, and the loss to the profession by his death. Here, if any intelligent reader were at our side, he might interrupt us by remarking on the signal services rendered to mankind by the writings of Dr. Combe, and allege that still, in a greater degree, must his loss be felt by the members, generally, of every community, than even by his professional brethren. Literally, and in its full meaning, may it be said, that man, woman and child, are under the strongest obligations to this popular writer, for his singularly lucid and practical teaching of hygiene, in connexion with physiology, as evinced in his different works, of which we shall soon speak under their respective titles. In another point of view, the labours of Dr. Combe furnish a lesson of encouragement to those who, owing to failing health, might be deterred from prosecuting their literary and professional labours, and of reproof to others who plead every slight indisposition and mental depression as excuses for not discharging their duties in these respects. He became a victim to the inroads of pulmonary consumption soon after the age of manhood; but yet he continued to be the zealous sludent, and at intervals the industrious and successful writer, during the whole of the period between the date of his first attack of disease, in 1820, and that of his death, on the 9th of August, 1847, a little before he had attained his

fiftieth year.

Doctor Combe was born in Edinburgh on the 27th of October, 1797, being the fifteenth child, and seventh son, of parents whose entire progeny numbered seventeen. Having gone through the usual course of instruction at the High School, he was bound apprentice, in

conformity with the usage in Great Britain, to the late Henry Johnston, Esq., surgeon in Edinburgh, and in 1817 he had acquired an amount of knowledge which entitled him to be licensed as a surgeon. With the view of farther qualifying himself for medical parctice, he next repaired to Paris, where two years were laboriously spent in attending on the hospitals and listening to the instruction so prodigally given out in the lectures of the many professional celebrities of that capital. In 1823 he began to practice in Edinburgh, and about two years later took there his medical degree. Success attended his professional labours, marked as they were by sagacity, kindliness and conscientiousness; and he was in the course of a few years in the enjoyment of a flourishing practice. But a return of symptoms of pulmonary disease obliged him, in 1831, to proceed to Italy, where he had been once before from a similar cause. He was, however, able to pass the winter of 1832–3 in Scotland, and in the latter year to resume his practice. "In 1836 he was honoured with the appointment of Physician in Ordinary to the King and Queen of the Belgians, and for several months attended the royal family in Brussels ; but the climate proving unfavourable to him, an alarming return of his pulmonary symptoms abruptly sent him back to recruit his health in his native land. Subsequenily he continued to act as consulting physician to their Majesties, and occasionally paid them a visit. About six or seven years ago, he was appointed one of the Physicians Extraordinary to the Queen in Scotland, and afterwards one of her Majesty's physicians in Ordinary in this part of the united kingdom. He was, also, a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edin. burgh, and a corresponding member of the Imperial and Royal Society of Physicians of Vienna."

The works by which the name of Dr. Combe is best known to the public, are--" The Principles of Physiology applied to the Preserva. tion of Health, and to the Improvements of Physical and Mental Education," of which twelve editions have been called for since its first appearance in 1834 ; “ The Physiology of Digestion, considered with Relation to the Principles of Dietetics," originally published in 1836, and now in the seventh edition ; and “A Treatise on the Physiological and Moral Management of Infancy, for the use of Parents," of which the first edition came out in 1840, and the sixth or People's edition, in June of the present year.

These works have been republished in the United States, and the first and third mentioned have gone through many editions. This last was edited by Dr. Bell in a manner that gave much satisfaction

a

a

[ocr errors]

to the author. As it is the fashion, just now, with some of our home critics, and particularly with those who are quite innocent of any literary attempt themselves, to speak in terms of disparagement of American editions of English works, we shall quote the concluding paragraph of the introduction to the last edition of the “ Treatise on Infancy:"_" Here I cannot resist the opportunity of expressing my grateful acknowledgments to Dr. John Bell, of Philadelphia, for the time and trouble which, amidst many pressing avocations, he so kindly and disinterestedly bestowed, not merely in superintending the republication of this work in the United States, but in enriching it with many valuable notes, for the purpose of adapting it more completely to the domestic habits and wants of the Transatlantic public. To Dr. Blicker, of Copenhagen, I am also indebted for its appearence in a Danish translation."

The aim of Dr. Combe, in preparing these works, is well expressed in the following sentences, by the author himself. "In teaching dietetic rules and hygienic observances, therefore, the precepts delivered should be connected with and supported by constant references to the physiological laws from which they are deduced. Thus viewed, they come before the mind of the reader as the mandates of the Creator; and experience will soon prove, that, by his appointment, health and enjoyment flow from obedience, and sickness and suffering from neg. lect and infringement of them.” That he was entirely successful in his estimate, both of the importance of the subjects, and of the manner in which they are best taught, is shown by, not merely the wide circulation, but the careful study of his different treatises.

Dr. Combe and his elder brother, Mr. George Combe, with whom in this country he is often confounded, were among the leading members of the Edingburgh Phrenological Society, instituted in 1820. He contributed two essays to the volume of Transactions, published by that body in 1824, and subsequently wrote many valuable papers in the Phrenological Journal, which was commenced in 1823, and now extends to twenty volumes. In 1831, Dr. Combe published “Observations on Mental Derangement; being an application of the Principles of Phrenology to the Elucidation of the Causes, Symptoms, Nature, and Treatment of Insanity." This work has long been out of print; the infirm health of the author having, as he tells us, prevented him from devoting that altention to the treatment of insanity, and, consequently, of " doing that justice to the subject, which its later progress and inherent importance imperatively demand.” In the beginning of 1846, his strong conviction of the importance of

« ZurückWeiter »