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Medical ArticlesWounds And Bruises
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Category: TREATMENT OF OTHER FEVERS
Source: Hydriatic Treatment Of Scarlet Fever In Its Different Forms
In 1845-46 there was an epidemic in Dresden, a city of 100,000
inhabitants, where I then resided. Its ravages in the city and the
densely peopled country around it, were dreadful. We had excellent
physicians of different schools, who exerted themselves day and night to
stop the progress of extermination, but all was in vain. Dying children
and weeping mothers were found in some house of every street, and
whenever you entered a dry-goods store, you were sure to find people
buying mourning. At last, as poverty will frequently produce dispute
and quarrel in families, there arose, from similar reasons, a dispute
between the different sects of physicians in the papers, which became
more and more animated and venomous, without having any beneficial
influence upon the dying patients. Sad with the result of the efforts,
and disgusted with the quarrel of the profession, I gathered facts of my
own and other hydriatic physicians' practice, by which it was shown that
I alone, in upwards of one hundred cases of scarlatina, I had treated,
had not lost a patient, and that, in general, not a case of death of
scarlet-fever treated hydriatically was on record. These facts, with
some observations about the merits of the respective modes of treatment,
I published in the same papers, offering to give the list of the
patients, I had treated, and to teach my treatment, gratis, to any
physician who would give himself the trouble of calling.--What do you
think was the result of my communication and offer?
The quarrel in the papers was stopped at once; not a line was published
more; no one attempted to contradict me or to show that I had lost
patients also; all was dead silence; and of the one hundred and fifty
physicians of the city, _one_ called, and, not finding me at home, never
returned. And the patients? Well, the patients were treated and
killed--after the occurrence I thought I had the right to use the
word--as before, and the practice was continued in every epidemy
Perhaps my communications would have had a better result in America,
where physicians, though much less learned upon an average, are more
accessible to new ideas?--
I have tried, several years ago, to have an article on the subject
inserted in one or two of the New-York papers, which have the largest
circulation in the country, but, although there were at the time 150
deaths of scarlet-fever per week in the city, they had so much to say
about slavery and temperance that there was no room for my article, and
when I published it in the Water-Cure Journal, it was, of course,
scarcely noticed.--Scarlet-patients have continued to be treated and to
die as before, and when I published a couple of months ago an extract
from this pamphlet in the Boston Medical World, there were thirty cases
of death per week from scarlatina in that city.
These are facts, upon which you may make your own comments. But the
following are facts also:
Next: More Facts!