Page images

Registration of Births.-On a recent visit to the office of the City Inspector, we were surprised and pained to learn, that many of our most respectable physicians neglect to make the monthly returns of births, required by law. Upon the passage of the law by the legislature of our State, we thought that medical men would seize, with avidity, upon the offer of a bureau for the accurate registry of births, and instructive collation of that important element in determining the character of our population. It is unnecessary to recount the manifest advantages resulting from it, in ascertaining our sanitary condition. Every good citizen, as well as every physician, should aid a cause which will eventually prevent much litigation, especially in the establishment of identity, succession, &c., in disputed cases. We were assured by the City Inspector, that proceedings would soon be commenced against delinquents. It will be recollected that the fine for not reporting before the first Monday in each month, is FIFTY DOLLARS. Although it may be argued by some, that this is an unconstitutional burden, and should be placed upon the parents, inasmuch as the attending accoucheurs are not the parties benefited, and the legislature only has the absolute right to interfere with the business of chartered bodies or trades, licensed with certain advantages, in which category recent legislation has defined the medical profession; yet, nevertheless, at this time, when the scientific profession meets with assaults on all sides, from every kind of quackery, it is manifestly to its advantage to aid in furthering this great work. The plea of pressure of business is no excuse; for, it is a well known fact, that those most industriously engaged in giving the profession the benefit of their labors for advancement in the medical art, are those in the most extensive practice. Besides, but little time is required to note down, at the bedside, the date, name of parents, street, number, name of child; or, if that is not decided, to request the parents to inform the physician as soon as possible; and if the returns were forwarded by any of the dispatch posts about the city, we presume that this would meet the wishes of the City Inspector. We trust that our brethren will co-operate, in future, with more punctuality, in the advancement of a plan on so many accounts desirable; if not, we have reason to believe that the delinquents will be reminded of their neglect, in a manner which will not be the most agreeable.

John W. Francis, Jun.-It is with sentiments of sincere sorrow and sympathy that we record the decease of our young friend, just about to enter on his professional career, with high promise of distinguished usefulness. Truly we may say, “ How is the strong staff broken, and the beautiful rod !" An obituary notice by a distinguished writer, his intimate friend from childhood, may be found under the appropriate head.

In our account of the Annual Dinner of the N. Y. Society for the Relief of Widows and Orphans of Medical Men, the name of Dr. J. C. Forrester should have been recorded as Benefactor, instead of a Life Member.

Bibliographical Hatices.

On the Nature, Signs, and Treatment of Child-bed Fevers ; in a series

of letters addressed to the students of his class. By CHARLES D. Meigs, M. D., Professor of Midwifery and the Diseases of Women and Children, in Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia ; &c., &c. Philadelphia : BLANCHARD & LEA, 1854. pp. 362.

Dr. Meigs gives us in this volume, as probably a last offering of the results of his extensive experience, a treatise on “Child-bed Fevers," to to supply a want which he feels to exist in this branch of medical literature. He has adopted the form of “letters,” to which he seems so partial, some reasons for which he gives in the dedication of the volume, as well as an apology for the general style of the work; an apology, by the way, much needed.

The leading doctrines of the work are, that “Child-bed Fever” is not a fever, but a phlegmasia or pure inflammation ; disbelief in an altered state of the blood as its cause; an utter rejection of the doctrine of its contagion; and blood-letting as the “remedy-in-chief” in its treatment; in all of which opinions, we believe we may safely say that the weight of medical authority is against him. Indeed, he acknowledges that probably much the larger proportion of the profession in this country entertain opposite views with respect to its contagion, and that they would be sustained by a similar sentiment of the public at large. Dr. Meigs says, that after “copious chemical experience, and no little reading of authors," he has become immovably fixed in the conviction that for the cure of of a child-bed fever, blood-letting is the chief, not to say "sole reliable remedy.. Speaking of the treatment of puerperal fever by the free and continued use of opium, he says, “ Any successes obtained in this way, ought not, in my opinion, to be regarded as triumphs of our art, but rather as misfortunes, that serve to retard its progress in usefulness, and in the confidence of the people.”

Dr. Meigs has entitled his work“ Letters on Child-bed Fever," at the same time he denies that there is any such thing as a child-bed fever. He considers the word “ a false and misleading one, since it implies that the disorder is a fever, when, in fact, it is not a fever, but a phlegmasia, or pure inflammation." But he did feel that he had authority to banish the word from our medical vocabulary, and, hence, has placed it on his titlepage.

The work of Dr. Meigs exhibits much research in looking up authorities in favor of as well as against opinions which he combats; and coming from a man of his extensive experience, both as a teacher and practitioner, it cannot but contain correct descriptions of puerperal disease, and some valuable practical information as to its treatment under certain circumstances; but we think that its influence (if it exerts any) will be far from salutary, while we do not believe that it will add to the reputation of its author.

A Manual of Pathological Anatomy. By C. HANDFIELD JONES, M. B.,

F.R.S., Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Assistant Physician to and Lecturer on Physiology, at St. Mary's Hospital; and EDWARD H. Sieveking, M.D., Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Assistant Physician to, and Lecturer on Materia Medica at, St. Mary's Hospital. First American edition, revised; with three hundred and ninety-seven illustrations. Philadelphia: Blanchard & Lea, 1854. pp. 733.

The object of the authors of this Manual is to give a summary of the ascertained facts in pathological anatomy, embracing both the results of their own investigations and the opinions of the most eminent pathologists of their own and other countries, and to present an original work in the English language, extending over the whole subject; and we think that this object has been very creditably attained. They have also investigated, as much as possible, the correctness of the statements they have adopted from others. The American publishers have enhanced the value of the work by supplying a large number of additional illustrations, selected from the best authorities, and have increased the number of woodcuts from 167, in the London edition, to 397 in this. An account of the interesting microscopical observations of Dr. Donaldson, of Baltimore, on the characteristics of the true cancer-cell, are also added to this edition. The wood engravings are very well executed, and accomplish as much in the illustration of the different subjects introduced as their size, and the absence of color, will allow. We are glad that the increasing attention paid to this branch of study by the profession affords encouragement for the production of such works, and trust that its republication here will increase the taste for it in this country, at the same time that it will afford much additional aid in its investigation. The reputation of the authors is a guarantee of its character, and we can recommend it as a valuable addition to medical literature.

Nature in Disease, illustrated in various Discourses and Essays, to which

are added Miscellaneous Writings, chiefly on Medical Subjects; by
Jacob Bigelow, M.D., Physician and Lecturer on Clin. Med. in Mass.
General Hospital, Prof. of Mat. Med. in Harvard University, &c. &c.
Boston : Ticknor & Fields, 1854; pp. 391.

This volume contains a collection of discourses, introductory lectures and essays, chiefly on medical subjects, written or published at various times, and on different occasions, the longest and most valuable of which is the Discourse on Self-limited Diseases, delivered nearly twenty years ago, before the Massachusetts Medical Society, which excited much interest at the time, and has exerted a marked influence on the views and practice of the profession. The introductory lecture on the Treatment of Disease, delivered before his medical class in 1852, is also distinguished throughout by that sound common sense and conservative spirit which are characteristic of all the productions of our author. We had marked several passages of this article to transfer to our pages, but are prevented from inserting them for want of space. Many of the papers derive their chief interest from the time of appearance, and contain nothing new or striking; while others contain much that is both curious and useful; and all are valuable, as coming from one so highly esteemed as their worthy author. Two of the papers date back as far as 1812. We have been much interested in the perusal of the volume, the mechanical execution of which, we would add, in closing our brief notice of it, renders it very grateful to the eye of the reader.


DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE. Colleges.—The Spring course of Lectures at the Crosby street Medical College, will commence on Monday, March 26th. At the University Medical College, 14th street, the course will commence on March 19th, with a new organization of Lectures.

N. Y. Hospilal.-The able Report of the Surgical Statistics of this Institution for 1854, by Dr. Derby, one of the House Surgeons is, we regret to say, necessarily deferred until our next number. The House is remarkably free from erysipelas, typhus, or any other epidemic influence. The “ Seven wise women" are punctual in their attendance, and manifest great interest in the treatment of patients; we are happy to learn that, thus far, it has not been considered necessary to call them in consultation, upon any of the more important medical or surgical cases.

N. Y. Eye Infirmary.We have just received the Annual Report, and at present can onlygive the general results. Diseases of Eye treated during the year, 2,636; of the Ear, 365. Total, 3000. Total since its organization, 48,528. Surgeons.-A. Du Bois, M. D., G. Buck, M. D., T. M. Halsted, M.D., C. M. Allin, M.D.

N. Y. Ophthalmic Hospital.-Number of patients treated, 1,234; since the opening, 2,430. Surgeons.-M. Stephenson, M. D., J. P. Garrish, M. D.

SOCIETIES. N. Y. County Medical Society.-Officers for 1855, President, B. Ogden, M. D.; Vice President, J. R. Van Kleek, M. D.; Treasurer, B. R. Robson, M. D.; Recording Secretary, H. S. Downs, M. D.; Corresponding Secretary, E. L. Beadle, M. D.; Censors, J. G. Adams, M.D., O. White, M. D., A. L. White, M. D., S. C. Foster, M. D., S. A. Purdy, M. D. Delegates to State Medical Society:--J. Wood, B. Ogden, G. Carter, J. W. Corson, O. White, E. L. Beadle, T. F. Cock, J. L. Phelps, J. G. Adams, A. L. White, H. D. Bulkley, D. M. Reese, A. Underhill, J. E. Taylor, J. Shanks, H. L. Downs16. Delegates to American Medical Association.-B. Ogden, B. Drake, J. R, Van Kleek, E. L. Beadle, A. Underhill, J. Anderson, I. C. Cheesman, A. C. Post, J. G. Adams, D. M. Reese, O. White, S. T. Hubbard, J. Shanks, S. A. Purdy, J. Wood, G. Carter, H. D. Bulkley, A. B. Whiting, G. Buck. J. Cock, J. Linsly, J. E. Taylor, J. Foster, H. S. Downs, A. L. White, J. Hart, J. Warren, M. H. Williams,-28.

N. Y. Medical and Surgical Society.-President, B. W. McCready, M. D.; Vice President, R. Watts, M. D.; Secretary, G. T. Elliot, M. D.; Treasurer, T. F. Cock, M.D. At the anniversary meeting a eulogy upon the late J. A. Swett, M.D., was delivered by Dr. McCready. N. Y. Pathological Society.-Officers for 1855—President, J. Bolton, M. D.; Vice Presidents. J. C. Dalton, M. D., L. A. Sayre, M. D.; Secretary, E. L. Jones, M. D.; Treasurer, J. F. Jenkins, M.D. Delegates to American Medical Association-J. C. Hutchinson, M.D., T. F. Cock, M. D., T. M. Markoe, M. D., J. T. Metcalfe, M. D., S. S. Purple, M.D., A. Clark, M. D., J. M. Minor, M. D., C. D. Smith, M.D.-8.


American Medical Association. The eighth Annual Meeting will be held at Philadelphia, on Tuesday, May 1st, 1855. Secretaries of all Societies, and other bodies entitled to representation, are requested to forward lists of Delegates as soon as they are appointed, which it is hoped may be as early as possi. ble. One delegate for every ten resident members, and one for every fraction of more than half that number. Hospitals, containing one hundred patients or more, and Colleges two delegates.


352 Chestnut street, Philadelphia. The Annual Meeting of the State Medical Society will take place on Tuesday, 7th February, at Albany.–At the recent commencement of the Albany Medical College, the degree of M.D. was conferred upon eighteen young men. The spring course of lectures in this institution will commence early in February. The new hospital is in successful operation, and is immediately opposite the college.-Dr. T. Romeyn Beck, Secretary of the Board of Regents, will please receive our thanks for transmitting, without charge, to care of M. Vattemare, Paris, seven volumes of the Transactions of the American Medical Association. These are to be presented to the Imperial Academy of Medicine at Paris, according to a resolution passed at the last meeting at St. Louis. Three sets of the Transactions of ihe N. Y. Academy of Medicine were also sent, by the same channel, out to M. Vattemare, for the purpose of international exchanges.—Dr. J. B. Chapin has be enappointed assistant-superintend. ent of the State Lunatic Asylum, at Utica.—Dr. George H. Gay has been appointed, without his solicitation, surgeon to the Massachusetts Generali Hos. pital.--At Harvard University, Dr. J. Bigelow has resigned the chair o teria medica. Dr. E. Hammond Clarke has been appointed his successor. A new chair, that of clinical medicine, has been established in this institution, to which Dr. G. C. Shattuck has been appointed.— With pain we are called to record the death of our friend, Dr. Zabdiel Boylston Adams, by typhoid fever, contracted in the discharge of his professional duties. He leaves an honored name to his posterity, and there are few who can fill the vacancy occasioned by his removal. He was an honest man.—Dr. George Suckley, U. S. army, writes from Oregon, that he has met with cases of insanity among the Indians of that country, contrary to the received opinion on that subject. Great pains are taken to conceal them from the whites. They are kindly treated, and incantations are employed for their cure. There is, at this time, a Tuscarora Indian under treatment, in the State Lunatic Asylum.

Chloroform.—Two cases of robbery, by use of chloroform, in rail cars, are reported in the papers. also used for robbing hen roosts, quieting of watch dogs, stealing of hogs, &c. Should it be sold by our apothecaries without some restriction ?

Yearly Mortality in Large Cities.--New York, 28,442; Philadelphia, 10,722; Baltimore, 5,746; Brooklyn, 4,768; Boston, 4,630.

Weekly Mortality, for the week ending Dec. 30, 1854, 446: Consumption, 68; apoplexy, 8; cholera, 1; dysentery, 5; diarrhea, 11; pneumonia, 35; croup, 17; scarlatina, 16; measles, 7; typhus fever (including tpyhoid), 10. For the week ending Jan. 6, 1855, 471 : Consumption, 70; apoplexy, 5; dysentery, 5; diarrhea, 13; pneumonia, 33; croup, 21; scarlatina, 20; measles, 4; typhus fever (including " typhoid ”), 14. For the week ending January 13, 413: Consumption, 42; apoplexy, 7; dysentery, 5; diarrhea, 12; bronchitis, 18; congestion of lungs, 11 ; pneumonia, 23; croup, 11; scarlatina, 18; measles, 6; typhus fever (including “ typhoid ”), 12. For the week ending January 20, 466: Consumption, 57; apoplexy, 6; dysentery, 4; diarrhæa, 14; bronchitis, 23; pneumonia, 41; croup, ii; scarlet fever, 26; measles, 7; typhus

« PreviousContinue »