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THE MEDICAL EXAMINER.
PHILADELPHIA, DECEMBER, 1847.
AND FOREIGN MEDICAL REVIEW.
'The October number of this admirable Review announces that it is the last which we are to receive. It is melancholy for us to state, that its discontinuance is owing to its never having received such a patronage from the profession as to authorize its distinguished editor to continue it. Still he persevered in his useful exertions until prudence compelled him to abandon the undertaking, and to permit it to pass into other hands, under another form. We have watched this Journal from its inception to its termination. Not a number has escaped our attention ; and not a number has been issued that has not afforded us valuable instruction. We are anjongst those, who daily feel, more and more, how much we have still to learn, and who mourn over our limited knowledge,-albeit there is no want of effort to maintain ourselves à portée with the existing state, of science. Doubtless, happy, thrice happy, are they who can admit that “ignorance is
" but this privilege has been denied to those who feel irresistibly, that their life must be spent in incessant toil to allay that thirst for knowledge, which has been implanted in them by the author of nature. To slake this thirst how effectual have been the pure waters issuing, from time to time, from the fount now about to be closed to thein. To the profession at large-and especially to the reading, thinking, studying portion-alas ! how few in number! the privation of their accustomed intellectual treat from abroad will be felt like the loss of a cherished friend and counsellor; whilst those who are engaged in the active and important occupation of teaching will deplore that one great source of their information, in regard to the novelties and the niceties of science, is about to be shut out from them. May we not hope that the amalgamation of the British and Foreign Medical Review, with its elder brother-the Medico-Chirurgical-may supply the place of the lost one ; and that the wonted fires' of each parent may burn more brightly in the progeny.
Of Dr. Forbes-who we regret to find is to have no connection with the new Journal-we take our leave with extreme regret; trusting, however, that we shall have constant cccasion to witness the continuation of his valuable services to the profession, of which he is so distinguished an ornament. Highly accomplished as a general and professional scholar: dignified and chaste in his language : forcible and fearless in the expression of his opinions: skilled in the selection of reviewers, who were fully competent to their elevated vocation, he was eminently calculated for the lofty editorial position he maintained for the last eleven or twelve years; and although there may be some who writhe under the stripes which he not always mercifully inflicted-and who may not be disposed to kiss the rod that chastened them-we must confess, that in no instance, in our recollection, have we been able to detect unfairness, or to feel that the lashes, although well laid on, were unmerited.
Taking the British and Foreign Medical Review as a whole, we might be justified in indulging the fear, that we may not readily “ look upon its like again,” seeing, that at the termination of its career, we can state even more fervently than we have done on former occasions, our own conviction that it is—and ever has been the very best medical review which has appeared in the English language. May we be able to say as much of the British and Foreign Medico-chirurgical Review," when it has passed through a long, and we hope glorious course. Whilst we grieve at the loss of its great progenitor, we shall hail its advent with unmixed pleasure.
ADULTERATION OF DRUGS. Constantly have we complaints in the journals of sophistications of many of the most important articles and preparations of the materia medica. The evil has now become so crying, that the College of Pharmacy of New York has decided on petitioning Congress to pass a law, authorizing the appointment of an inspection at the Custom House of imported galenicals and chemicals, and the confiscation of such as are not approved of. In this petition the different medical schools will doubtless unite, as the Jefferson Medical College has already done. We may remark, by the way, that we have recenily examined a specimen of the Pilula Hydrargyri, prepared by steam power at the chemical laboratory of Mr. George W. Carpenter of this city, which may be depended upon as genuine. It is made in the same manner as at Apothecaries' Hall, London, and the mercury is completely extinguished. This is one of the imported articles which has been most frequently found wanting.
MEDICAL CLASSES IN PHILADELPHIA. A month has now elapsed since the lectures commenced in the Medical Schools of Philadelphia, and we are enabled to state that at no former period has the number of students in attendance been greater. Precisely how many are in the city, until the catalogues appear, it is impossible to tell; we have heard the number variously estimated, from a thousand to twelve hundred. Eleven hundred, probably, is not far from correct.
THE ASIATIC CHOLERA.
The foreign journals continue to furnish the unwelcome intelligence of the march of this pestilence in its old track. At Trebizonde, it appeared on the 9th of September, and continued to increase until the 15th, when the attacks became less numerous, and on the 18th the disease appeared to be on the decline. There had been 300 cases, of which 103 proved fatal. The government medical officer at Trebizonde has remarked that the disease is not so violent as that which formerly devastated Europe, and he adds, that of those who applied to him for advice he saved 90 out of 100. Some cases had been reported in the villages in the neighbourhood of Trebizonde. The disease prevailed both at Bagdad and Imaur-Ali, about the sa ne period, (September.) Late accounts also state that it had appeared at Moscow, and that “ Colonel Stalupin, an aid-de-camp of the Emperor of Russia, had fallen a victim to it.” The disease had likewise appeared at Odessa. The Gazette Medicale, of the 9th of October, informs its readers that “the Cholera has passed the frontiers of Gallicia, and is now spreading through Silesia and Moldavia."
The Dublin Medical Press of the 13th of October, observes : “ It is with regret we perceive by announcements in the daily journals that the Asiatic Cholera has reached the interior of Europe, and is gradually extending itself in a north-westerly direction. It is credibly reported that several cases have occurred at Charkav, in southwestern Russia, and at Kiev, a large town on the right bank of the Dnieper, and on the frontiers of Poland."
From all the accounts we have seen, it would appear to be certain that the Asiatic Cholera is approaching us by the same route as on the former occasion, and there is great reason to apprehend that it will reach this Continent during the next year. Should such be the case, it is to be hoped that it will not be preceded or accompanied by a similar panic, and that those of the profession who may be obliged to combat it will not desert the established principle of our
art, and the evidences of their own senses, to run after every empirical suggestion that may be put forth by ignorance and credulity. It is furthermore to be hoped, that the opportunity will not be allowed to pass, as before, without suitable efforts to establish the pathology of the disease. Chemistry and the miscroscope should be diligently invoked, to reveal the condition of both the solids and the fluids, including all the secretions.
NEW YORK ANNALIST. We regret to find that our well-intended compliment to our brother of the Annalist, on the entrance of his journal upon its second year, is deemed by him “ equivocal.” We assure him that we meant to express no doubtful praise, but unreserved commendation of the zeal and ability displayed in his spirited publication, and a hearty wish for its continued prosperity. A remembrance of the fate of several of his predecessors, and at least one contemporary, in the Commercial Metropolis,” was well calculated to make us rejoice that a better destiny seemed to await him.
RECORD OF MEDICAL SCIENCE.
Health of the City of New Orleans.-We shall continue hereafter, as heretofore, to make a few passing remarks upon the sanitary condition of our city. In our September number, it was stated that the Board of Healıh had declared the yellow fever to be epidemic. Events which have transpired since that announcement, have fully verified, we regret to say, the assertion of the Board.
The fever made its appearance about the 1st of July, and began to decline, in accordance with the laws of epidemics, about the latter part of September; and by the 1st of October, the deaths daily were about ten. Thus the epidemic, as such, raged about six or seven weeks. It attacked many who had passed unaffected through the season of 1839 and '41; some who had been permanent residents for several years, fell victims to the disease. In some of its features it differed from former epidemics.
We had fewer cases of black vomit; and many who were attacked with this usually fatal symptom, recovered. In many cases, the fever terminated in 24 hours; in others it raged for 56 or 72 hours Nor was the issue of the case materially influenced by the duration of the fever. Since many in whom the sever continued for three days, recovered as promptly as those in whom it ceased at the end of 24 hours. Throughout the disease, the head-symptoms were striking and obstinate ; and many, very many, succumbed with all the symptoms of congestion of brain.
As it is not our object to go into a description of the disease, we shall confine ourselves to the statistics on the subject. After much labor and great care, we have compiled from the published reports of the Board of Health the following statement, which will speak for itself.
Interments in the city of New Orleans, from the 3rd of July, to the 18th October, 1847, inclusive. For the week ending 10th July. Total 138, 5 of yellow fever,
143, 6 24th
16 31st 6
263, 118 15th
353, 197 22d
443, 322 29th
461, 328 5th Sept.
540, 435 12th
491, 355 6 19th
257, 169 26th
181, 85 3rd Oct.
126, 44 From the 10th to the 18th
3990, 2241 of yellow fever. Interments in the city of Lafayette, from 26th of July to 21st of September, 1847, inclusive. Total, 793, of which 498 were of yellow fever. Thus making the total of deaths from all diseases during the time specified in both cities—4,783, of which 2,739 were from yellow fever.
The above table will convey quite a correct idea of the state of health of our population from ihe 3d of July to the 18th of October, 1847.
From the foregoing table it will appear that the epidemic reached its acme about the 1st of September, and after that date it gradually declined. During the prevalence of the fever, it has been computed that between tienty and twenty-five thousand persons were attacked with the disease; this, however, is more a matter of conjecture than accurate calculation.
On the 18th of October, the Board of Health published the following statement :
Meeting of the Board of Health, October 18th, 1847. The Board of Health feels authorized to make the announcement that the yellow fever, which has been prevailing for some months as