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Remark.-We saw a case, the other day, in which the right ankle was every now and then the seat of swelling and severe pain extending up the leg and disabling the patient-who was a young delicate girl—from walking. From the character of the symptoms, constitutional as well as local, we regarded the affection as of an hysterical nature, and therefore prescribed steel and bitters. The relief thus obtained was speedy and decided. - Rev.
MAGNETISATION OF A STEEL ROD BY THE MERE INFLUENCE OF
M. Thilorier, on the 11th and 18th of June last, endeavoured to establish, by a series of experiments before the French Academy of Sciences, the existence in the human body of a fuid or agency analogous to the electric, and capable of producing some very curious phenomena. Many facts, he said, might be adduced to prove this position, which will probably startle most who have not thought of the subject. Of these, one of the most satisfactory is that of magnetising a steel rod, placed upon the epigastrium, by the mere and unaided effort of the will! By the simple act of volition, this effect is produced; for it is well known that the mere contact of the rod with the surface of the body is not sufficient. M. Thilorier says that there are three principal points of the body from which the magnetic fluid escapes, viz. the hands, the epigastrium, and the forehead! In a state of repose or passiveness of the intellect and will, as for example during sleep, the effluvium, and consequently the magnetisation, are not however entirely null
. In the hands, the currents of the fluid are parallel to the direction of the fingers and perpendicular to the palm; those of the epigastric and frontal regions are directed from below upwards, and from the feet to the head, in a curved line! The magnetic action is null, or nearly so, at the lower end of the spinal marrow; it increases in degree or intensity in proportion as we approach the neck! Currents emanate from every point of the cranial vault; but the most energetic of all is from the culminating point of the frontal bone! The energy of the currents depends on a variety of circumstances : it is more considerable about noon than at night, or in the morning ; likewise more so in health than in sickness !--L'Experience.
TREATMENT OF HYDROCELE WITH IODURETTED INJECTIONS.
In more than 300 cases of this complaint treated with an ioduretted injection, (composed of tincture of iodine parts, and distilled water 125 parts,) by M. Velpeau, not a single accident or unpleasant symptom has ever occurred. 'One of the patients indeed died; but the fatal result in this instance proceeded from a purulent inflammation of the cellular tissue of the pelvis, quite unconnected with the operation, and
not having any communication whatever with the affection of the scrotum. The average period for effecting the cure was 15 days. In one case only the injection found its way into the tissue of the scrotum, in place of the tunica vaginalis : notwithstanding this misadventure, no appearance of gangrene supervened, and the patient recovered without any unpleasant accident.-Ibid.
TREATMENT OF FISTULA LACHRYMALIS.
The practice that has been followed, for many years past in Italy, in the
treatment of chronic inflammation of the Lachrymal Canal is to introduce a minute fragment of the lunar caustic into the fistula, if such be present ; or by a small puncture made into the sac, if not. An acute inflammatory action is immediately set up; but by the following day this is usually much diminished, and ceases entirely in three or four days afterwards. The engorged parts then gradually subside, the purplish colour changes to a white, the tears resume their natural course, and every trace of the disease vanishes. In most cases a single application of the Caustic is sufficient. Professor Lallemand, we are told, very generally adopts this mode of treatment.—Clinique de Montpelier.
PASSAGE OF METALLIC MERCURY INTO THE BLOOD AND VARIOUS
ORGANS OF THE BODY.
M. Oesterlen has performed a number of experiments on animals, with the view of determining this point. The results of these are as follow :
1. It is indubitable that mercury may pass, in the metallic state, through the parietes of the blood-vessels, since minute globules of it have been found in the subcutaneous cellular tissue and in the veins permeating it. The globules bave never been discovered in the epidermic layers, but only in the deep-seated layers of the dermis, near the blind extremities of the hair-follicles; also in these follicles and in the sudoriferous canals. 2. The metallic mercury, rubbed on the skin or introduced into the intestinal canal, may give rise to injurious effects, by passing into the current of the circulation. It is not easy to determine in what manner the metallic mercury, when once introduced into the circulation, becomes changed and modified, or how it then acts. At the side of the shining globules, M. Oesterlen always found a number of dull and dark-coloured corpuscles, which resembled a good deal the granules of a mercurial oxyde; these were found to be not acted upon by alkalis, but to be dissolved slowly in strony nitric acid, after being ground down into a fine powder. In the urine and in the bile, the mercurial globules did not exhibit any appearance of decided change. 3. Minute globules of this metal, in the state of fine division, may traverse the capillaries without producing any inflammatory stasis : their presence in the vessels does not seem to influence the formation of the blood or the development of the sanguineous corpuscles. 4. Small quantities of mercury, taken inwardly or applied on the skin, appear to pass chiefly into the parenchymatous substance of the spleen, liver and kidneys, and to be discharged by the last two emunctories.
M. Oesterlen has never been able to detect the presence of any globules in the cells of the liver, or in the corpuscles of the spleen, or in the minute tubercles of the kidney: they were always on the outer surface of these organs. He conjectures that they may have escaped from the anatomical preparation, after it bad been put up. He has, however, detected them in the saliva and also in the urine. Roser's Archives.
ON THE QUANTITY OF CARBONIC ACID EXHALED FROM THE LUNGS
IN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS.
The results of M. Scharling's experiments on this subject are the following:
1. The quantity of carbonic acid exhaled from the lungs varies considerably in different periods of the day.
2. These variations are attributable, in part, to the varying power or faculty of the respiratory organs to change the inspired air into the gaseous product; and in part also to the unequal movement of the circulation-the state of which is very sensibly affected by that of the process of digestion.
3. Cæteris paribus, a person exhales a greater quantity of carbonic acid when full than when he is fasting, and also more during waking than sleeping.
4. Men exhale more than women of the same age, and children more than adults.
5. In various states of sickness, there is considerably less exhaled than during health.-Schmidt's Jahrbucher.
ON THE EPIDEMIC INTERMITTANCE OF INTERMITTENT FEVERS.
The development of Agues in marshy countries is by no means uniform or constant : it is itself subject to intermittances. Thus, at Antwerp and its environs, in 1822 and 1823, these fevers began to become more common and severe than they had been observed to be for some years before. Their intensity increased during the following seasons.
“ The periodical genius or type,” says M. Gouzee, " arrived at its acme in 1826, the period of the memorable epidemic of Grouingen. During the three summer months of that year, which were remarkable for an almost constant dry heat of from 20° to 28° Reaumur, the number of insidious and malignant remittent fevers was considerable at Antwerp, among all classes of the population. During the month of July, twenty-five, thirty, and even forty fever cases entered the military hospital daily. In 1827, this epidemic constitution, although still very decided, was nevertheless not of so great violence; after having suffered a little remission in the following years, it re-appeared, and prevailed again with considerable intensity in 1834, 1835, and 1836.
“ During this long succession of years, more particularly in the first eight or ten, nothing was so common as marsh cachexias, leucophlegmatic inflammations and engorgements of the spleen. It was not uncommon to meet with invalids in whom the hypertrophied spleen occupied the entire left side down to the pubis. The frequency of malignant fevers at that time obliged the medical men to be constantly on the watch. In 1837, a rapid change took place all at once : the intermittent fevers ceased, and their sudden disappearance coincided with the appearance of a severe epidemic of Influenza, which prevailed from the middle of January to the end of the following month. During the entire prevalence of this new epidemic, we did not meet with a single case of intermittent feverma circumstance well worthy of notice.
“From 1837 to 1841, that is to say during an interval of five years, the paroxysmal fevers were so rare, and so slight, that the sulphate of Quinine, formerly the anchor of safety in the majority of cases, had then in a manner fallen into neglect. The malignant remittent fevers, the obstructions of the spleen and the marsh cachexias had also almost entirely disappeared. At last, the periodic fevers re-appeared in 1842; and, during the following year, in our localities, they returned to such an extent and often with such gravity as could not fail to arrest the attention of all our practitioners. During the months of August and September of this year, the appearance of a good many cases of pernicious fevers was noted at Antwerp; a circumstance which, for more than six years before, had not been met with in practice.”
These variations proceed, according to our author, from dry prolonged heats, without great agitations of the air, and cold nights.
“ In our low and marshy countries,” he observes, “it is not, as many physicians believe, the humidity of the atmosphere that occasions the development of intermittent fevers. There is no situation in which fewer paroxysmal fevers are met with when the seasons, in which they generally shew themselves, are rainy and damp. If the humidity of the air is necessary to their development, it is in districts not so low as ours, in order to prepare the work of miasmatic decomposition, which it requires other conditions of the atmosphere to complete.”-Journal Belge.
Remark.-- From the tone of the preceding observations, our readers will perceive that medical men on the Continent are beginning to pay attention to a subject, connected with the history of diseases, which has been far too much neglected in the present century—we mean the nosological influences of seasons, atmospheric changes, and so forth. We need not say that the writings of Hippocrates, Sydenham, Baglivi, &c. are pregnant with allusions to this matter.
The Best Means op PREVENTING THE MARKS OF SMALL-Pox.
Zimmerman and Rosen were the first to make it generally known that the development of variolous pustules might be much arrested by the application to the skin of mercurial plasters. This fact had been nearly forgotten, when M. Serre, and subsequently MM. Briquet and Nonat, drew the attention of the profession to the value of this mode of treatment, to which the appellation of ectrotic has been applied. According to their experience, nothing answered so well for this purpose as the emplastrum Vigo-a mercurial preparation somewhat similar to the emplastrum hydrargyri cum ammoniaco of the London Pharmacopæia. The recent experiments made by Coppen confirm and give additional value to the remarks of these gentlemen. He found that, if common mercurial ointment be applied to the papules of small-pox from their first and earliest appearance, they do not suppurate, but speedily contract and dry off: this ointment however has not the effect of preventing the eruption of the papules, however early in the disease it may be applied to the skin. But the emplastrum Vigo he has found to have superior efficacy; for, according to his observations, it serves to arrest the eruption of the papules, as well as to prevent the suppuration of those that have already appeared.
Dr. C. has also tried the effects of an ointment containing sulphur, as an application to the skin in Variola; but the results of his experience are certainly not favourable to its use.-Annales de la Soc. Med. de Gand.
TREATMENT OF THE ITCH IN BELGIUM.
The following Circular has been addressed to military surgeons by the InspectorGeneral of the Belgian army.
“ Each patient is to be supplied with an ounce or an ounce and a half of liquid sulphuret of lime in a small pot: this quantity he is to rub carefully and slowly with his hands on every part that is covered with papulæ. If there be any papulæ on the back, another patient is to rub the liquid upon that part. The operation is to be repeated three times in the twenty-four hours, so that each patient consumes three or four ounces of the sulphuret daily. A bath is to be taken every alternate day; the frictions are to be suspended on that day. Fifteen frictions (or ten days use) are usually sufficient for the cure of the disease, if the medical officer in charge sees that the remedy is properly used."
The sulphuret is prepared thus : take of sublimed sulphur 16 pounds, and of quick lime 32 pounds : boil in solbs. of water for three-quarters of an hour. Let the mixture rest for some time until it settle, and then let the clear fluid be decanted off. Boil the residue afresh in about the same quantity of water, treat it in a similar manner, and add this decoction to the first. Usually 140 pounds of the sulphuret, at 12° by the areometer, are thus obtained. If the liquid be
more dense, it should be lowered to this standard by the addition of rain water. - Ann. de la Soc. de Med, d'Anvers.
CASES OF POISONING with CANTHARIDES.
The practical question as to the best mode of treatment in this accident is well illustrated by comparing the following two cases with each other.
Case 1.-A lunatic, 45 years of age, swallowed about half an ounce of a paste which contained nearly two drachms of powdered cantharides: this was about half-past seven o'clock in the morning. In the course of a quarter of an hour afterwards, attempts were made to provoke vomiting by administering tartaremetic, and ipecacuan in hot water. Copious vomiting was speedily induced, and the patient rejected so much of the ingested mass, along with much of the mucus of the stomach, that it was believed
that very little of the poisonous matter was left behind in the stomach. Towards the after part of the day, the patient's body was found to be very cold, and his pulse at the same time was contracted and rather indistinct. A slight re-action ensued, and this state lasted for about twelve hours, when symptoms of adynamic depression returned, and next day the patient died about eight o'clock. The only treatment, that had been adopted, was the free use of mucilaginous and other emollient drinks. This case is related in the Giornale delle Scienze Mediche di Torino, and is thus commented upon by the French reviewer in the l’Experience.
" It is highly probable that the fatal termination in this instance might have been prevented, if, in place of trusting to the use of such inefficient means as soothing diluents, the medical men had pursued what is commonly called the medicine of symptoms—the only rational method, it may be observed, to combat the constitutional phenomena of poisoning. Two circumstances in the preceding case rendered it favourable for successful treatment: 1. The one was the copious rejection of the contents of the stomach by vomiting ; and 2, the little soluble form in which the poison existed. The paste had not remained sufficiently long for it to become dissolved in the juices of the stomach and absorbed into the system. The fatal result may therefore be attributed in part to the adoption of an erroneous treatment. The physician in the next case understood his duty belter, and the consequence was that he saved his patient.”
Case 2.-A healthy and middle-aged man swallowed a scruple of powdered cantharides, which had been mixed with his food by some friends in sport. In the evening he felt a sense of burning and constriction in his mouth and throat, also nausea and frequent efforts to vomit, shiverings and tremor in his limbs, &c. The general weakness and depression became greater and greater; the twitches, pains and formication in the limbs and back were more troublesome; the urine was passed with great difficulty and scalding; there was a distressing tenesmus ; the thirst was intolerable, and the extremities were continually icy cold. During this (the second) day nothing but acidulated and demulcent drinks was administered; but, as the symptoms became gradually more alarming-for paralysis of the lower extremities, and bloody micturition had now come on,-Dr. Podrecca was called in. At this time the patient's countenance was pale and livid, his eyes were hollow and dark, and his pulse was exceedingly low : he complained of intense anxiety at the præcordia, occasional priapism, severe pains in the ahdomen, &c. Wine, spirit of canella and laudanum were immediately ordered to be given in frequently repeated doses ; so that, in the course of twelve hours or so, the patient took 5 litres of the first, 4 ounces of the second, and 4 scruples of the last. The unfavourable symptoms gradually decreased, and next day the