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The Transactions of the American Medical Association, instituted 1847,
vol. vii. New York: Charles B. Norton, 71 Chambers street, 1854, pp. 668.
The present volume of the Transactions of the Association falls behind its immdiate predecessor two hundred pages in size, and is also behind it in point of interest and practical value. The illustrations consist of two uncolored engravings and a few maps, and though well printed on rather tiner and heavier paper than the previous volumes, must have cost less than most of the later ones.
After the minutes of the last meeting of the Association, held at St. Louis, and the address of the Vice-President, Dr. Usher Parsons, of Providence, we have the Report of the Committee on Medical Education, Dr. J. L. Cabell, chairman, and a Report on the Epidemics of Kentucky and Tennessee, following which is an essay on Erysipelas, by Dr. R. T. Holmes, of St. Louis. Next in order is a report by Dr. F. Peyre Porcher, of Charleston, S.C., on the Medicinal and Toxicological Properties of the Cryptogamic Plants of the United States, extending over more than one hundred pages, which exhibits great research, and contains much curious and some useful information. The next papers are a Report on the Epidemics of Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, for the years 1852-3, by Dr. Geo. Mendenhall, Chairman, and a Report on the Epidemics of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas, in the year 1853, by Dr. E. D. Fenner, of New Orleans; which are followed by the Prize Essay, by Prof. Daniel Brainard.
The next paper, containing an Account of the Railroad Disaster at Norwalk, Conn., with biographical sketches of those gentlemen (members of the Amer. Med. Assoc.) who lost their lives on that occasion, perpetuates the history of the sad event which cast such a sudden gloom on the profession at the time, and furnishes us with brief sketches of their lives. A few remarks by Dr. Linton, before the Association at St. Louis, on the identity of bilious and yellow fevers, are next given, and the volume closes with the report of the Committee of Publication and Treasurer, catalogue of officers and permanent members, &c. .
The report of Dr. Fenner embraces a full account of the epidemic of yellow fever, as it prevailed in New Orleans last year, with general remarks on the disease, and on its cause, pathology, and treatment, which add much interest as well as practical value to the volume. A graphic account of the disease as it prevailed at Houston, Texas, is furnished by our friend Dr. Ashbel Smith, a name, as Dr. F. says, identified with Texan bistory. We have only room to extract from this paper the rate of mortality in the practice of Dr. Fenner. Of 137 cases of wellmarked yellow fever, treated by him in private practice, exclusive of those to which he was called in consultation, 19 died. * Nine of these deaths occurred in cases to which Dr. F. was called at or beyond the second day from the attack ; and several were at the close of the third day, when there was but little chance for medical treatment. The rate of mortality for the whole number was, therefore, 13.86 per cent., or about one in seven. Deducting the nine deaths in the advanced stage, there were 127 cases and 10 deaths, which is at the rate of 7.87 per cent., or one death to not quite thirteen cases.
The Prize Essay, by Prof. Brainard, is on a new method of treating ununited fractures and certain deformities of the Osscous system, the object of it being—1st, to establish, by experiment, the principles upon which the treatment of ununited fractures should be conducted, and to show that these principles are applicable to the human subject. 2d, to propose a new method of treatment for certain deformities which result from true anchylosis, union of fractures in an angular position, rachitic curvature, &c. Plates are added, illustrating the effects of disease and also of operations on bones, and showing the instruments used and mode of perforating bones, &c. We must refer to the Essay itself for the particulars respecting the mode of treatment recommended by Dr. B., and the experiments which illustrate the principles upon which his mode of proceeding is founded.
The present volume comes to us bound in cloth, which is an improvement on those of later years, a practice which we trust will be continued, even if it does add a trifle to the cost.
City.--N. Y. Hospital.--At a meeting of the Governors, held on the 7th ult, Prof. John T. Metcalfe was appointed one of the physicians in place of the late Professor Swett.
Bellevue Hospital.—On the 14th ult., Dr. Stephen Smith was elected, by an unanimous vote, one of the surgeons, in place of Dr. J. O. Stone, resigned. At the same meeting, a vote of thanks was tendered to Dr. Stone, for his long-continued and faithful services.
College of Pharmacy.—Mr. Benjamin Canavan has been appointed Professor of Materia Medica and Pharmacy, in place of Dr. B. W. M'Cready, resigned. Prof. Canavan bas also the principal charge of the N. Y. Journal of Pharmacy, which, like most of the respectable journals within our knowledge, is not a source of great profit to its proprietors.
New Appointments.-Professor John C. Dalton and Assistant-Professor George T. Elliot, of this city, have been appointed, the former to the vacant chair of Physiology and Pathological Anatomy, the latter to the chair of General, Descriptive, and Surgical Anatomy, in Woodstock Medical College, Vt. Prof. B. R. Palmer, late of this institution, has been appointed to the chair of Descriptive and Surgical Anatomy in the University of Louisville, and Prof. Alonzo Clark has resigned, with the view of establishing himself permanently in this city. This college has been re-organized, the Faculty now consisting of seven professors; course to commence on first Thursday in March.
Improved Stethoscope.--Dr. Camman, of this city, has invented a new stethoscope, which intensifies, to an extraordinary degree, every sound heard
VOL. IV., no. 3.
in auscultation. This intensity is produced by both ears of the observer being acted upon at once, and the ear-pieces of the instrument fitting tightly into the meatus of both ears, all external sounds are more thoroughly cut off, and the mind of the auscultator is thus forcibly drawn to the phenomena taking place within the thorax. We hope to be able to give a full description of this instrument (with drawings) in our next number.
Health Officer.-Owing to the political changes produced by the recent election for governor, petitions are already in circulation on the part of aspirants to this lucrative station. We know not that there will be any change, as we believe the present incumbent to have faithfully discharged the duties of his office. But an office which is said to be worth $27,000 per annum is certainly not to be despised, and even the distant prospect of a possible change will work up the office-seekers, with their friends, to a mighty effort.
Dr. J. W. Francis, at the last meeting of the Historical Society, read a most interesting paper " on Reminiscences of Old New York, with its inhabitants." We are happy to learn that our venerable friend is engaged upon his reminiscences of the Old New York Doctors, which he hopes, ere long, to submit to the profession. By common consent, no man is so well qualified to perpetuate among us the memory of these illustrious dead.
MisceLLANEOUS.- Wills Hospital, Philadelphia.--Dr. Isaac Ilays, for more than twenty years one of the Surgeons of this llospital, has resigned. Dr. Adinill Hewson has been elected in his plac e.
Blockley Hospital, which has for several years been closed to clinical instruction, has been re-opened. Drs. H. II. Smith and D. H. Agnew, Consulling Surgeons ; Drs. J. L. Ludlow and Caspar Morris, Physicians ; Dr. Campbell, Resident Physician.
Pennsylvania Hospital-Of 200 amputations upon 196 patients, performed during the twenty years from 1830 to 1850, at the Pennsylvania Hospital, 148 :vere cured, and 48 died. Of this number, 49 were under 20 years of age, of whom 45 were cured and 4 died; 56 were between 20 and 30, of whom 29 were cured and 18 died ; 37 were between 40 and 50, of whom 24 were cured and 13 died; 5 were upwards of 50, of whom 4 were cured and 1 died.
The Washington College buildings, at Baltimore, were offered for sale on 27th November, under a decree in equity.
Dr. Daniel Brainard has been appointed Surgeon of the Marine IIospital at Chicago, in the place of Charles A. Helmuth, M.D., removed.
Dr. J. P. Gray, now Superintendent of the New York State Lunatic Asylum, has been appointed Superintendent of the Michigan State IIospital for the Insane, at Kalamazoo.
Surgeon J. M. Cuyler, of the United States Army, who has for the last five years been stationed at West Point, New York, has been ordered to Fort Leavenworth, Missouri. His friends in this city will much regret the change.
As illustrating the early proficiency of the late Dr. W. J. Burnett, in his medical studies, it is stated that when only twenty-two years of age he delivered, at the Medical College in Augusta, Geo., a successful course of lectures on microscopic anatomy; and in his twenty-third year wrote an essay which received the prize from the American Medical Association, though open to the competition of the whole medical profession
Dr. J. F. Peebles, of Pittsburg, has become associate editor of the Virginia Medical and Surgical Journal, and Prof. N. S. Davis has succeeded Prof. ller. rick, as senior editor of the Northwestern Medical and Surgical Journal.
A physician who has had much experience in the treatment of entozoa, says that turpentine, if not a specific, is pre-eminent in the materia medica for its power in expelling tape-worms from the human body. Turpentine most thoroughly shortens the existence of these repulsive tenants of the intestines. They give way before its sickening and destructive properties; the laws by which they live, thrive, luxuriate, and revel, are suspended; they become an easy prey to the vital forces, and by the aid of castor-oil are soon, with other matters, got rid of.
The Medical Society of Virginia offers a prize medal of $50 for the best essay “ on Pneumonia,” to be presented before March, 1855.
The Boylston premiums for 1854, of $60 each, have been awarded to Silas Durkee, M, D., of Boston, for the best dissertation “ on the Constitutional Treatment of Syphilis," and to Geo. H. Lyman, M.D., “ on the Non-Malignant Diseases of the Uterus." Question for 1855 is, “ on the Diagnosis of the Diseases of the Urinary Organs;" and for 1856, 1. “The Nature and Treatment of Asiatic Cholera;" 2.“ The Nature and Treatment of Aneurism by Anastomosis.”
At a meeting of citizens of Savannah, on the 14th October, the mayor presiding, a service of plate was presented to Drs. Redwood and Hamilton, of Mobile, and Dr. Cross, of New Orleans, in token of gratitude for their services during the late epidemic.
American Enterprise.-On 25th August, 1854, Dr. J. T. Talbot, of Boston, attended by four guides and four porters, ascended Mont Blanc from Chamouni, passing the first night at the Grand Mulets (a barren rock), reaching the summit at twenty minutes past 12, on the 26th, 15,744 feet above the level of the sea. Here they remained five minutes, and then descended to the Grand Mulets, returning to Chamouni on the third day, at 4, P. M. Dr. Talbot is, we believe, the second American physician who has ever reached the summit of Mont Blarc; Dr. J. Van Rensselaer, late of this city, having preceded him, in 1821 or '22. When it is considered that, for the last mile the ascent is up an almost perpendicular wall of ice, cut out in zigzag paths by the guides, it is seen to be no ordinary feat. The only unpleasant symptom experienced by Dr. Talbot was, a disposition to sleep during the last mile, and an inflammation of the eyes. There was not the usual difficulty in respiration. Fifty-two travelers have accomplished it, and we have thought it worthy of a record.
New York Graduates. Army Surgeons.-By the returns from the Surgeon-General's office we learn, that since 1850, four graduates from the University Medical College, two from the College of Physicians, and one from the Thirteenth Street Medical College, have been received as assistant army surgeons. From the Navy Medical Bureau we have not been able to learn the names of the institutions where the successful candidates have graduated.
DOMESTIC. Weekly Mortality. City.–For the week ending October 28th, 1854, 478 :--consumption, 45; apoplexy, 5; cholera, 24; cholera infantum, 16; dysentery, 20; diarrhea, 26; pneumonia, 25; croup, 9; scarlet fever, 8; convulsions, 33; typhoid fever, 7. For the week ending November 4th, 399:consumption, 49; apoplexy, 8; cholera, 17; cholera infantum, 7; dysentery, 17; diarrhoea, 20; pneumonia, 17; croup, 9; scarlet fever, 13; convulsions, 35; typhus fever (including “ typhoid”), 10. For the week ending November 11th, 404:-apoplexy, 7; consumption, 61; cholera, 5; cholera infantum, 3; dysentery, 12; diarrhea, 11 ; pneumonia, 13; croup, 10; scarlet fever, 8; convulsions, 36; typhus fever (including “ typhoid”), 9. For the week ending November 18th, 356:-apoplexy, 2; consumption, 45; cholera, 2; dysentery, 10; diarrhea, 10; pneumonia, 17; croup, 9; scarlet fever, 14; convulsions, 29; typhus fever (including " typhoid "), 12. For the week ending November 25th, 359:-apoplexy, 6; consumption, 57; cholera, 2; dysentery, 8; diarrhea, 9; pneumonia, 21; scarlet fever, 11; convulsions, 38, typhus fever (including "typhoid "), 8.
The total number of deaths in the city and county of New York for the 39th, 40th, 41st, 42d, 43d, 44th, 45th, 46th, and 47th weeks of the current year was 3,792, a diminished mortality of 3,871 compared with the number dying in the previous nine weeks. The corresponding decrease last year was 487.
Meteorological Summary, continued from October.— The mean lemperature for the 43d, 44th, 45th, 46th, 47th weeks of 1854 was 491° Mean dew-point below air temperature for the same time, go.
Mean temperature for the same time last year, . - 490
“ dew-point below air temperature same time last year, . 810
" temperature, same time, eight years, • • . . 490
mean for same time last eight years.
[Foreign Varia crowded out.]
Personal.—We regret that, owing to the negligence of the carrier, some of our subscribers were not supplied with the November number before the 7th ult., though it was issued punctually on the 31st October. We have taken measures to prevent a recurrence of this delay in the distribution.
MARRIED. At Westerly, R.I., the 25th October, J. D. B. Stillman, M. D., of New York, to Mary G. Wells, of Westerly, R. I.
OBITUARY NOTICES. At Corpus Christi, Texas, on October 20th, of yellow fever, George F. Turner, M. D., Surgeon U, S. Army.
On 30 November, Dr. Alfred Cook, of this city, et. 48.
On 5th November, at Newburgh, Anna, relict of Dr. Valentine Seaman, of New York, æt. 83.
At Boonton, N. J., in September, Geo. D. Dagget, M. D.
At Newark, N. J., on 20th November, Wm. Turk, M.D., Surgeon U. S. Navy. He entered the service in 1800, and was the oldest but two on the list.
October 30th, Baron John Von Britton, M. D., of St. Thomas, W. I., et. 70.
In London, of cholera, on 29th September, Geo. Leith Roupell, M.D. senior surgeon to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, one of the most eminent and accomplished practitioners of London.
Near Sebastopol, of cholera, Dr. R. J. Mackenzie, a distinguished surgeon of the British Army, æt. 35.