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use of ice in a medical point of view to the community of Calcutta, I beg, in reply, to state, that I consider it of essential benefit in many cases of disease incidental to this climate, especially in fevers and inflammatory affections, and likewise to a large class of invalids, whose digestive organs are in an impaired and debilitated state, arising from effects of climate and other causes, an affection, which, amongst the community, prevails to no small extent. I am, Sir, your most obedient servant,
H. S. Mercea, Marine Surgeon. Calcutta, 14th August, 1837.
No. 7. To L. Clanke, Esq., Chairman, Ice Committee.
Sin, -In reply to your letter of the 20th ultimo, and its accompanying resolutions, 1 beg to state, that ice is of the highest utility in the ordinary gastric (commonly called bilious) remittent sever of Bengal. It is also beneficially used in many forms of dyspepsia common to our clinate, and, altogether, I think the regular and ample supply of ice a matter of first rate importance to public health.
I have the honor to be, Sir, your most obedient servant, Calcutta, August 1, 1837. J. R. Mantin.
No. 8. To L. Clarke, Esq. Chairman, Ice Committee.
Sin, In answer to your letter of the 20th ultimo, I have the honor to submit to you my opinion, “on the great importance of a permanent supply of ice to the public health,” for the information of the committee for promoting the importation of American ice.
In all ages cold has been regarded by physicians, as one of the most powerful means of allaying the worst symptoms of inflammatory diseases, and is at present universally used by medical practitioners in all civiliz. ed countries.
How invaluable therefore must such a remedy prove in a country like this, (sent to us in its beautifully-con. gealed form,) with a high temperature of the atmosphere, where inflammatory diseases are so abundant, and assume so formidable an array of alarming symptoms. In the ardent fevers which hourly present themselves in this city, with great determination to the head and other cavities of the body ; intense thirst, a burning and dry state of the skin; great restlessness and general uneasiness, with a pulse upwards of 120, the application of iced water is at once a sure means of subduing these symptoms, and affording to the patient the most speedy, grateful, and soothing relief, next to blood-letting, and purgatives. I consider cold effusion to be the next most powerful agent, in the cure of fever, and, therefore, a prodigious acquisition to medical practice in this country.
In the diseases of infants, the value of ice is incalcula. ble, especially in dentition, where there is such enor. mous determination to the head, and which so frequent. ly and rapidly terminate in convulsions and death, there is no means which relieves heat, and distention, by emptying the large vessels of the brain so effectual. ly and so safely, as the application of iced-water to the head, and I can declare, that many parents in this city, owe the existence of their offspring to the judicious use 2s, the invaluable remedy. in that state of debility following acute disease, the patient has been kept alive again, and again, by dipping toasted bread in iced water, when nothing else would remain on the stomach. In the irritable stomach also, which is so frequent and dis*ressing a symptom of acute disease, I have seldom failed to allay it, by giving from time to time, a tea-spoon-full * *** water, the parched mouth and intense thirst
In all cases of febrile excitement, more especially those attended with fixed determination of blood to the head, i look upon the command of a supply of ice, as one of the most valuable and safest of our remedies; it enables us more effectually, than any other application we possess, to reduce, and keep down, the immoderate circulation, and encreased nervous irritability which is commonly destructive of life, in cases of fever; to effect which, without it, all our endeavours are in vain, and which it is our most anxious abject to effect. As a topical agent, in many ordinary affections, its efficacy is undoubted, and when within our reach, one of which we are always glad to avail ourselves; but it is in fevers, and the acute attacks, common to this climate, that its advantages are most apparent, and Government could in no manner shew its care and regard to the well-being, and protection of its servants and subjects at large, so well, as by affording its most liberal assistance, in promoting the importation of a constant supply of an article, of such active powers, and great value, in the treatment of these diseases, characteristic of, and incidentalto, the country.
A. R. Jackson, M.D., Offg A. H. C. H. C. Dispensary, 11th August, 1837.
No. 10. Esplanade Row, 24th July, 1837.
Sin, In answer to your circular of July 20th, wishing my opinion in writing, as to the importance and use of ice in a madical or surgical point of view, I beg to state for the imformation of the lce Committee, and the Government, that I consider its use to be truly valuable. and of very great importance, not ouly in severs, but in various other disorders, both surgical, and medical, and that there are some cases, in which a substitute for ice cannot be obtained. I have within the last few days had two such cases under my care. I have frequently used ice in this country, and have had many years experience of its utility both in public and private practice in England.
ation, that ice in fevers and cases of hemorrhage, is of the greatest utility.
I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obdt. servt, Charles C. EgertroN. Eye Infry, 14th Aug. 1837.
My Dean Sin, –With reserence to our conversation last night about the ice, I am prepared by professional experience to afford my unhesitating testimony, to the powerful agency, which it possesses, when judiciously employed, in alleviating disease, and contributing to: wards a cure. It would be tedious to enumerate the cases, in which the use of this admirable adjuvant, tends to produce decidedly beneficial effects; but there is one class of disorders, which I cannot help particularizing (at the risk of writing somewhat more technically than I intended) as cases where I have witnessed wonderfully beneficial results, from its discreet use ; I allude to infantile fever during dentition, in which there is always determination to the head, sometimes so sudden and to such an extent, as to prove fatal in an incredibly short time, if not promptly arrested, nature endeavours to counteract this result by increased secretion from the bow. els, i.e. by spontaneous purging; and the ordinary treatment is to follow up nature's plan by keeping up a free action of the bowels by medicine, many is the little sufferer, however, whom I have seen sink under this indispensable evacuation, who might have been saved if we had possessed the means, which the ice now affords us, of determining powerfully, and at once, from the brain by its application in substance to the head.
Its beneficial effects in such cases, is almost imme
diate, by unloading the vessels of the brain and thereby enabling you with safety to moderate, or arrest the alvine flux, which is draining away the strength of the babe. It will sometimes stop a convulsion fit, as if by magic; and when one reflects that the cranium of the infant is in its upper part almost as thin and diaphorous as an egg shell, where the several bones are in- actual opposition, and that there are several spaces where the membranes covering the brain, and the scalp are only separated by the interposition of a thin membrane, one ceases to be surprised at its immediate effects.
I beg you to excuse my troubling you with such details, but our conversation on the subject was inturI upted, and I wish to instance to you how specifically the faculty may surnish grounds for their general recommendation of the efficacy of ice in the cure of disease.
I will only add, that the specific cases which I have adduced might have suggested another claim on the patronage and support of the ladies, at least such as are mothers, or hope to become so, and in these two classes, I presume, may be included a pretty considerable majority of our fair countrywomen at the presidency. ] again beg your excuse for the length of my note and remain,
Yours very faithfully, L. Clanke, Esq. G. Chaigie.
My Dean SIR,--I must beg your forgiveness for my remissness to answer your first letter. In reply to you! inquiry of the estimate which my professional experi ence of its use has induced me to form of ice, as a remedial agent in tropical disease, l am really at a loss
It is unnecessary to detail the particular instances wherein ice is valuable in medical treatment, but I have no hesitation in saying, that in sever, in various forms of inflammation, in many cases of external injuries, and in the practice of midwifery, there are numerous instances, in which the life of the patient may depend upon the internal administration, or the external application of this substance. In cases of impaired digestive powers also, I believe it to be highly useful, as a stomachic tonic. Indeed, so much do I value it, that apart from every consideration of individual comfort, I consider it to be the duty of every medical practitioner, to use all his endeavours to ensure a never-failing supply of ice in this city.
II. H. Good rve, M. D. Professor of Anatomy and Medicine, Medical College. Calcutta, July 20, 1837.
Medical College, Calcutta, 8th August, 1837.
Sin, -In reply to your circular of the 6th instant, I have much pleasure in expressing my conviction, that the successful importation of ice, and its constant preservation in Calcutta, place within the reach of the humblest member of the community, a remedy of the highest efficacy in the treatment of many varieties of tropical disease. Considering ice solely as a medical substance, I would deem all the subscriptions we have made and all the support, you now seek to encourage the importation, as well and cheaply bestowed.
L. CLARKE, Esq.; Chairman, Ice Committee.
Calcutta, 28th August, 1837.
Sin,_I beg to apologize for having so long delayed answering your circular of the 20th July, and your note of the 13th instant, on the subject of ice, and its importance to the public health. This arose in the first instance, from my considering myself unconnected with, and unknown to, the inhabitants of Calcutta, and that my opinion consequently, could not be regarded by them as of the slightest importance, and since the receipt of your last note, I have been much occupied.
There can be no doubt, that ice is an article which contributes largely to the enjoyment and the health of those, who can afford to purchase it, and, were it cheap enough, and procurable at all times, it might be turned to various uses in medical practice. But at the same time I must express my opinion, that the committee have not taken up the true ground for soliciting the bounty of Government on this occasion, the real im: Portance of ice is, as an article of luxury, during health,
I have now the pleasure to communicate through you. for the information of the committee, that I regard ice as subordinate to no other agent, in the prevention or treatment of disease, and as a remedy in controlling fever, in its various applications, the power of which is second only, if, under some circumstances, it be not even superior, to that of the laneet; a remedy which can never supersede the lancet, nor dispense with it, but which, when added to it, forms by the combination a treatment so powerful and ethicacious, that it will reuder death foom the acutest cerebral inflammation, as rare, as recovery is at present. Employed as a remedy (known by the name of the ice cold dash) there is no degree of burning heat which the animal economy is capable of producing, no intensity of vascular action, and no violence of pain, that can resist its continued application. The cold evaporating lotions, which were in former days applied to the head, proved useful in mild cases, but to hope to control the more formidable cases of the sever of Bengal, by their aid alone, is to expect to coerce a giant by twisting around his arms a spiders thread, the impression which the one makes upon the brain, compared with the effect produced by this remedy. may be said to be, what the application of six leeches to the temples, is to the abstraction of thirty ounces of blood.
utility of ice in the treatment of some of the diseases of India, I beg to state that I consider it one of the most valuable auxiliaries, the medical man has at his com. mand, for the alleviation of suffering, and cure of the most dangerous diseases of this country. In fact I look upon it, as one of the greatest blessings we possess, and I have reason, I think, to consider it as such, since to ice, I feel I am indebted for the restoration to health, from nearly fatal illness, of one of my dealest and dearest relatives.
I remain, yours very truly, R. O'SHAuchNEssy, Hurkaru, June 12.]
Proceedings of a meeting of the medical and physi
4th. An interesting case of placental presentation, also
cal Society of Calcutta, held at the Asiatic Society's by Mr. Colledge.
apartments, on the 2d of June, 1838.
Letters from the following gentlemen were read :
From J. Graham, Esq., assistant surgeon, and ., surgeou, requestiug to withdraw from 3d troop, 1st brigade, horse artillery, by W. McGregor,
Johnstone, the Society.
From Mr. Bouchez, requesting to be appointed librarian to the Society, stating, that he had for some months past acted in that capacity. This request was referred to the committee of management.
From H. T. Prinsep, Esq., secretary to the Government of Bengal, forwarding a copy of Copland Hutchinson's “Practical observations on Surgery,” which was presented to the Society's library by the Hon'ble Court of Directors.
J. G. Wos, Esq., M. D., was proposed as a member of
the Society by Dr. O'Shaughnessy, seconded by Dr. McClelland. The following communications were then presented: lst. A case of lithotomy terminating fatally on the 5th day after operating, with remarks on the causes of failure in extracting large calculi, by Dr. D. Stewart, M. D. 2d. Illustrations of the poisonous effects of the external application of arsenic, and its employment in some of the manufactures of Bengal, by the same gentleman. 3d. A case in which a bony deposit was found adhering to the falx cerebri, by T. B. Colledge, Esq., surgeon, Macao,
These two cases were presented by Dr. D. Stewart, on behalf of Mr. Colledge.
5th. A report upon cholera, which prevailed in the
6th. Two cases of traumatic tetanus, successfully treated by tartar emetic, by Dr. Bowron.
7th. Dr. Goodeve read an extract from a letter he had lately received from Mr. Cumberland, of Poeree, containing an account of a hot spring at Khoordab, in that district. The temperature of this spring, varied from 1 120 to 128% of fahrenheit, when the water in a neighbouring tank stood at 64", the air being 50°. The water appears to be impregnated with sulphureted hydrogen. Mr. Cumberland sent a specimen of fish, several of which were swimming in the spring, where the thermometer stood at 1 12". These fishes died when they came in contact with the water at 128".
8th. Mr. R. O'Shaughnessy, presented a magnificant and unusually large specimen of calcull which he had removed from the urethra of a native.
A long discussion upon various topics followed, chiefly upon matters connected with the obstitric art in connexion with Mr. Colledge's second paper.
H. H. Goodeve, M. D. Sec. Med, and Phy. Society.
Hurkaru, June 13.]
The following gentlemen proposed at the May meeting were duly elected members of this Society, viz. Captain H. Macfarquhar, Dr. Jas, IIutchinson, Thos. Lane, E. Mackintosh, G. T. Cockburn, E. G. Mackin. tosh, C. S. F. Kirtchhoffer, C. M. Hunter and G. Austin, Esquires, Rajah, Nursingchunder Itoy, and Baboo Keenut Singh. The following gentlemen were proposed as members, or 2. Major H. Cox. 58th regiment, N. I., proposed by Dr. Wallich and seconded by the secretary. Henry Freeth, Esq., assistant surgeon, Nowgong, proposed by Captain Jenkins, and seconded by the Secretary. H. J. Leighton, and Colin Camphell, Esqs., proposed by W. F. Fergusson, Esq., and secondod by the Secretary. Brigadier General Sir Thomas Anbury, k.c.B., proposed by F. T. Fergusson aud seconded by the Se: cretary. W. R. Logan, Esq., Mymunsing, and Baboo Peary Mohun Day, proposed by D. Hare, Esq., and seconded by A. Grant, Esq., and Dewan Ramcomul Sen. W. F. Dowson, Esq., proposed by John Allan, Esq. and seconded by W. Storm, Esq. -" * --
Major J. D. Parson, p. c.g., proposed by the se. cretary, and seconded by Dr. Wallich. Col. L. R. Stacy, 32d N. I., proposed by the secretary, seconded by Dr. Wallich. Motions of which notice was given at last meeting. Motion No. 1, by the secretary seconded by Dr. Strong, was brought forward and carried, nem con. Motion No.2, by C.K. Robison, Esq., seconded by W. Storm, Esq., was next brought forward and carried men con. Notice of motion. Proposed by G. A. Prinsep, Esq., seconded by C. K. Robison, Esq. “that the sum of 500 rupees be appropriated for procuring cotton-seed of every variety in estimation from South America, and that a correspondence be opened with Rio Janeiro, for the purpose of obtaining it.” Reports. The President drew the attention of the meeting to the subject matter of motion No. 1, of April meeting which was brought forward at the last meeting, ani carried by an amendment on the original motion, being at the same time referred to the general committee, for consideration. He (the President) would read the re.
port of that committee, drawn up at a meeting held on the 9th instant, as follows: