Page images
PDF
EPUB

them, and in the new preface due credit is given to Messrs. Thompson and Capper for their help in this matter.

Those who have looked carefully over this book will find many other additions and corrections that will show how much has been done.

Family Practice or Simple Directions in Homoeopathic Domestic Medicine.—14th thousand, London: Gould and Son, 1882.

As this is the fourteenth thousand, we presume thirteen thousand copies of this work have already been taken by the public, which proves its popularity. On the title page this is said to be a companion volume to another work called: The Principal Uses of the sixteen most important Homoeopathic Medicines, though how a volume that contains indications for the employment of fifty-nine internal medicines, besides nine tinctures for external use can be a companion to another volume dealing with sixteen medicines only is a mystery to us. This volume makes no claim to originality but is avowedly a compilation from the standard works on domestic homoeopathy. The work is tolerably well done but it strikes us that the medicines prescribed are dangerously strong. We should hesitate to entrust a box containing Aeon., Ars., Bell., Merc, corr., Phos., in the third decimal potency, Colch., Gels., Podo., in the mother tincture Ver. v. and K. iod., in the first decimal to the discretion of an ignorant mother or nurse, for administration to children. We think all domestic medicines should be in pilule form and none stronger than the third centismal.

Supra-pubic Lithotomy.—By W. Tod Helmuth, M.D., New York; Boericke and Tafel, 1882.

Dr. Helmuth is well known as a skilful, bold and successful operator, and his position as surgeon to the Homoeopathic Hospital in Ward's Island, and to the Hahnemann Hospital of New York gives him ample opportunities for the display of his skill and science.

The high operation for stone has certainly fallen into much disfavour in the surgical world, and yet there are occasions when it must be the best if not the only possible operation. "When the stone is very large, or when the prostate gland is, as it often is, enormously enlarged, the supra-pubic operation is the only cutting operation that promises success. The great objections to this operation have always been possible peritoneal wound and urinary infiltration, but the latter is just as likely to occur in the lateral operation and the former may be easily avoided, and in these days of abdominal surgery is not so much dreaded as it used to be. The human bladder when distended presents a triangular space rising two or more inches above the pubis in which there is no peritoneum and it is here where the bladder is incised in this operation.

Dr. Helmuth presents the reader with tables relating to the cases on record in which these operations have been performed. They comprise 527 operations of which 358 were successful 135 fatal and in 34 the result was unknown. Dr. Helmuth has himself performed the operation four times, with two recoveries and two deaths. He mentions besides another case of supra-pubic operation he had, but as that was performed not with a view of removing a stone but to relieve a supposed extravasation, and was of a merely explorative nature, he does not include it in his list. It should be noted that the patient in this case died one hour after the operation and that a post-mortem examination revealed "an empty bladder, abscesses in both kidneys, a large quantity of pus in the pelvis of the right one and an immense abscess containing nearly a quart of matter, extending from the lower margin of the right kidney to the fundus of the bladder." In addition there was a stone embedded in and occupying the whole area of the prostate.

The book is beautifully got up and does great credit to the enterprise of the publishers Messrs. Boericke and Tafel. There are coloured lithographs and many wood-cuts which greatly facilitate the right understanding of the operation.

We do not know if Dr. Helmuth's work will have the effect of making the supra-pubic operation popular among our surgeons, but whether or no, the work redounds greatly to his honour on account of its highly scientific character. The compilation of the very complete tables it contains was entrusted to Dr. E. G. Rankin and they leave nothing to be desired in respect of intelligent construction. The cases included in them extend from the year 1560 to 1881. We are proud to find that our homoeopathic school has contributed such a valuable treatise to surgery, and trust it will receive from the profession the attention it merits.

Transactions of the Homoeopathic Medical Society of the State of Pennsylvania. Eighteenth Annual Session, Pittsburgh, 1882.

Dr. J. C. Morgan, the president, opened the session of the Society with an interesting address, mentioning the conquests of homoeopathy during the past years as in the transference of the State Asylum of the insane at Binghampton N. Y. to homoeopathic management, and the partition of the Cook County Hospital, Chicago, between medical officers of both schools. He mentions too that though the army authorities are hostile to the admission of homoeopathic practitioners into the army medical service, the navy authorities have no prejudice in favour of any school or medical practice. A movement similar to that which secured the twenty-third Clause in our Medical Act is being attempted in the United States, and a resolution is drawn up providing " that it shall be a misdemeanour punishable by a fine of $500 and dismissal from office, for any officer of the United States Government, civil, military, or naval, to make discrimination in favour of or against any school of medical practice, or its legal diplomas, or its duly and legally graduated members, in the examination and appointment of candidates to medical service in any department of the Government." The homoeopaths of Allegheny county have made a successful application to the State legislature and have obtained $50,000 for the benefit of the Pittsburgh Homoeopathic Hospital. The President earnestly recommends toleration and fraternal union among homoeopaths, though they may differ in some details of doctrine and practice, and he concludes by a defence of the peculiar doctrines and dogmas by Hahnemann which would perhaps not be quite accepted by Hahnemann himself.

In the report of the Historical Committee there is an interesting paper by the late Dr. McClatchey giving the history of homoeopathy in Philadelphia from its introduction in 1829 to the present time. It seems from this that the first to introduce homoeopathy into Philadelphia was Dr. Ihm a native of Frankfort o. M. Philadelphia will always hold a distinguished place in the teaching of homoeopathy, as it was there that Dr. Hering's labours were chiefly carried on. Philadelphia may be regarded as the headquarters of homoeopathy in the United States. In Pennsylvania homoeopathy has one state society, seven county societies, eight local societies and clubs, four miscellaneous societies, one medical college, two periodicals, eight hospitals (with 275 beds) and four dispensaries.

An article is contributed by Dr. Ivins on the mechanical treatment of glaucoma in which the various operations that have been proposed, abandoned, or retained are described. The author does not attempt to decide which is the best, but he tells us that Sclerotomy in one shape or another is the most fashionable operation. In the discussion that followed Dr. James said he had "found Eserin a remedy which holds in check and controls attacks of glaucoma." He uses it in the third or even first dec. attenuation; Belladonna seemed to make his cases worse. If this experience is corroborated by other observers it would seem that a point has been scored against homoeopathy, for Belladonna, or Atropine, has undoubtedly caused glaucoma, but so far from Eserin having done so, it is recommended in glaucoma by ophthalmologists of the old school, and Walker who used it with success explains its action on decidedly allopathic principles.

In the obstetric bureau Dr. Van Artsdelen relates a case of phlegmasia alba dolens in detail, but does not say that he gave any remedy whatever, nor does he state whether the patient recovered or died, or was dismissed uncured. Altogether a very unsatisfactory case.

Dr. M. M. Walker gives an elaborate analytical table of 300 cases of parturition, in order to help to ascertain whether the popular belief that children are only born during flood tide has any foundation. He finds that 67^ per cent. of his cases were so born, hardly a sufficient percentage to justify the popular belief.

There is a very elaborate article on chorea by the Philadelphia County Society which is worth perusal. Several other papers and records of cases of treatment give additional value to this year's record. We have not space left to notice them in detail.

Index-Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon-General's Office, U. S. Army. Vol. II. Cholecyanin—Dzondi. Washington, 1882.

The third volume of this colossal work is fully equal to the first two. Though it is but an index of a library in Washington it may often prove of great service to a resident in England. The reason of this is the excellent arrangement of the matter and the exhaustive analysis of the periodical medical literature it contains. In this respect it is a model to other libraries. Every article in the many hundred periodicals in the Washington library is arranged under the subject treated of, separate publications are entered under both the subject and the author. If we are engaged on any particular subject we can at once see by consulting this index what authors have written on it, what is the title of their work, or if articles in periodicals, the title of those articles and the exact place where they will be found. We have employed it for this purpose, and have been astonished

VOL. XLI, NO. CLXIV. APRIL, 1883. N

« PreviousContinue »