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tended with griping pains or violent purgings, on which occasions what is more common than for nurses immediately to fly to the use of Godfrey's cordial, Dalby's carminative, or some such medicines the consequence of which is, that by trusting to them a medical man is not called in till the child is past recovery, ami but too often to witness its last gasp. So frequent are such occurrences, that we will venture to assert, that there is not a medical man in London that has been lonoin practice, to whom it has not happened. We do not mean to infer that anodyne medicines are never proper in the complaints of children, in such slight fevers and affections of the bowels, arising from irritation or dentition, they are often attended with beneficial effects, but in the hands of ignorance they are from their indiscriminate exhibition often attended with fatal or distressing consequences; for it is not to be supposed that a nurse can be a competent judge of the causes of the complaints of children.
When a child is in pain, it is a common practice for nurses to refer it to the bowels, and immediately to give it hollands, brandy, or anodyne medicines for its relief, when at the same time, the poor infant's sufferings perhaps arise from inflammation of the brain; which, if neglected, a few days, or even a few hours, will terminate in fatal suppuration, or produce the disease termed watery-head, the first stage of which, is inflammatory. Purgings offchildren are generally critical, being an operation of nature to carry off some offending acrid matter from the intestines, in such instances anodyne medicines, by checking her efforts, are often productive of serious consequences. Another great evil is, that nurses generally keep those medicines by them, to give the. children committed to their care; a pretty large dose at night in order that they may obtain some rest themselves. The Author of this observation has very often detected this pernicious practice in hired nurses, and from having suggested his suspicions to their patients, such medicines, have on examination, been found concealed in their boxes or other places.
Dr. Buchan justly observes, "nurses who deal "much in medicines are always to be suspected. "They trust to it and neglect their duty. I never "knew a good nurse who had her Godfrey's cor"dial, Daffy's elixir, Dalby's carminative, &c. at "hand, such generally imagine that a dose of "medicine will makeup for all defects in food, air, "exercise, and cleanliness. By errors of this kind I "will venture to say, one half the children who die "annually in London lose their lives." Page 32.
Dr. Cadogan in his valuable "Essay on Nursing "and the Management of Children *, seriously "cautions parents against the artifices of designing "quacks. Their anodyne medicines, says this "experienced writer, are often productive of the "most serious mischief, particularly in inflam"atory affections of the stomach and bowels." Page 3.
That philanthropic and great physician, the late Dr. John Fothergill, states, in the London Medical Observations and Enquiries; "The mischiefs "that have proceeded from Godfrey's cordial, "Bateman's drops, Squire's elixir, and other heal"ing anodynes, in the hands of ignorance tire *' scarcely to be enumerated."
Dr. Reece, in his System of Modern Domestic Medicine, declares, "that the anodyne, aromatic
* See this invaluable work, which ought to be in the possession of «very mother, the Ninth Edition of which has lately been published, by H. D. Symonds in Paternoster-Row.
'" medicines of the quack tribe, have proved more "destructive to the human race, than the com"bined ravages of the small pox and measles."
Experience has fully satisfied our mind, that the lives of more than half the children that die in London might have been saved, had proper medical advice been resorted to in the first instance, an assertion in which we are persuaded every experienced practitioner in this metropolis will concur.
. This melancholy fact, is surely of that importance as to demand the attention and interference of the legislature, and we trust the period is not far distant when it will undergo a proper investigation, and those apparently licenced spotters with human life be brought to condign punishment.
The compound tincture of senna, of the Edinburgh pharmacopoeia, with the substitution of treacle tor sugar candy, and an addition of aniseeds, has been very generally sold under the titleofZ)tf^y,y Elixir, but from this variation so far from deriving any advantage, it is rendered very inferior to the compound tincture of senna; the treacle in flatulent cholic proving more injurious than otherwise. In cholicky affections, attended with inflammation of the intestines, such medicines we conceive improper.
A variety of opinions being however entertained by professional men, respecting the propriety of administering purgative tinctures in different affections of the bowels, we merely notice this preparation to introduce the following communication sent to us by a respectable chymist in London. The question arising from which, we consider to be of that importance to the regular medical profession, that we trust it will undergo a further discussion.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE MEDICAL xOBSERVER.
"Agreeably to the solicitation, expressed in "the prospectus of your intended publication, "for information relative to convictions for the "sale of medicines without stamps. I send you "the inclosed particulars of an extraordinary case, "argued before one of the Justices of the Public "Office iu Bow-street, which terminated in my "conviction of a penalty, for vending a medicine "1 really never kept in my shop. The singular "opinion of Mr. Escourt, with respect to phar"maceutical preparations, when sold as substi"tutes for quack medicines, is of that import"ance to the regular profession that I hope "the question will not long remain doubtful, "whether a medical man has not the power of "recommending the medicines of the pharmacou pofia of the College of Physicians to the trash "of quacks, and his property subjected in con"sequence to the oath of an informer."
"If you insert any anonymous letters, I beg "mine may appear as such, you are, however, "at liberty to give up my name to any inquirer. 1 am, Sir,
The Editors, on the re-perusal of Mr. B.'s case (after it was printed), find it so extraordinary, and the decision so contrary to law, that they have thought proper to suspend its publication till their minds are satisfied with respect to its accuracy.— They, therefore, request he will have the goodness to favour them with the attorney's name who waa concerned for him, that, if correct, it may appear in their next number, to which it more properly belongs.