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The Democratic Platform, we are told by The Medical Council, and American Medicine, contains the following strong plank: “We advocate the organization of all existing national health agencies into a national bureau of public health, with such power over sanitary conditions connected with factories, mines, tenements, child labor and other subjects, as are properly within the jurisdiction of the Federal Government, and do not interfere with the power of the State's controlling public health agencies.” When one of the great political parties of that great commonwealth to the south of us, considers a public health bureau of sufficient importance to help construct its platform, it shows progressiveness of a distinct character. Surely in another Dominion general election this factor will figure in the practical politics of either political party. The medical profession and Parliament need a man to espouse this cause and to carry on an educative and convincing campaign in its behalf.
It will come sooner or later, as Sir Wilfrid said to the Canadian Medical Association at Ottawa: “It is only by knocking
: “ at the door that the door will be eventually opened."
Congratulations to the Ontario Government, or probably properly to the Honorable, the Provincial Secretary. The doctorpolitician has got the bump at last—a member of the staff of the Hamilton Provincial Hospital has been installed in succession to the late Dr. Hickey, of the Cobourg provincial institution. Although the public press says "temporarily,” surely if it is not made permanent it will be owing to the fact that some one else is slated for promotion. The medical profession, but the patients particularly, may exclaim: Thank God! the day is going or gone, when the best qualification for practising psychiatrics in this province was political activity and pull.
A Western Newspaper finds fault with one of Toronto's most able and respected specialists because he did not jump and run with his stomach tube and antidotes to a case of poisoning when vehemently urged to do so. Apparently, the epicurean editor does not believe in specialists. He would have a nose and throat specialist do Whitehead's operation on a moment's notice; an eye and ear man a prostatectomy; a gynecologist, tracheotomy; every one with an M.D. treat everything from the pip to the pox, great or small. He is over twenty-three years behind the times in medical knowledge—but, skiddo. If D. McG's house were on fire at 2 a.m., would he get up and put it out with his tears? Yet this is on a par with his senseless criticism. Such criticism, however, would almost go to show that specialists should have it stated on their signs what particular practices they are confining their work to.
Koch still insists that bovine tuberculosis differs from human tuberculosis, as first expounded by him in London, in 1901. With his adherents he stands in the minority. Although a heart-toheart discussion was held in camera at the recent Washington Tuberculosis Conference, it failed to produce any unanimous agreement on the subject. The majority—and many eminent scientists are included in this-hold that tuberculosis in cattle constitutes a most serious menace to public health. It is a matter of the most vital importance, and Professor Koch and other scientists will have to go deeper into their researches and observations, in order to satisfy both the medical and lay mind.
The Local Use of Epsom Salt is a new and interesting, as it appears to be a successful, topical treatment in up-to-date therapeutics. It is being extensively used in hospitals in the United States in acute and sub-acute inflammations of the skin, and in crysipelas. The technique is extracted from The Medical Council. The application consists of a saturated solution of mag. sulph. in water. This is applied in facial cases on a mask consisting of from fifteen to twenty thicknesses of ordinary gauze, of sufficient size to extend well beyond the area involved, a small opening being made to permit breathing; no opening, however, is cut for the eyes. The mask is then thoroughly saturated with the solution, applied and covered with oiled silk or wax paper, and wet as often as necessary to assure a moist dressing—usually once in two hours, depending on the time of year, or the temperature of the room. The dressing should not be removed oftener than once in twelve hours to permit an inspection of the parts, and then immediately re-applied; the infected area should not be washed while the treatment is employed. The temperature rapidly falls and usually becomes normal during the second twenty-four hours. The only other treatment needful, in the average case, is a milk diet until the temperature is again normal.
It is said that the chief of one of Philadelphia's largest outpatient departments has given instructions to his workers to employ magnesium sulphate in all cases of ivy poisoning, erysipelas and, in fact, in inflammations generally of the skin.
Mr. Kipling and the Doctors is the title of an article in October 10th issue of The Spectator. It is a comment on an address delivered by the eminent litterateur to the students of Middlesex Hospital in praise of the doctors. Coming from such a source it is refreshing. It is said his words have been read by the public with delight and his auditors were thrilled with burning pride in their profession. The doctors and their patients divide the world into two classes; the non-combatants, the patients, eagerly watch the efforts, in their behalf, of those who were always in action,
always under fire against death.” Mr. Kipling said that this fight for life was one of the most important things in the world. (The italics are ours.) Did but the public realize this, and governments in particular, with regard to tuberculosis and other diseases the doctors were fighting! They reported for duty at once in all times of flood, fire, famine, plague, pestilence, battle, murder and sudden death; they could pass through the most riotous crowds unmolested when they were known, or stop a ship in mid-ocean to perform an operation; houses were burnt up or pulled down on their order; they dared tell the world facts. Mr. Kipling says they are paid to tell the truth; Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes once told a graduating class they might sometimes venture on lies as justifiable in the interests of their patients. Truly we doctors have a wide latitude. The writer in The Spectator goes on and elaborates Mr. Kipling's address. We are told we belong to the “privileged ” and the “ruling" classes as well; that judges' sentences upon criminals, the whole machinery of state, great projects of reform, cabinet council deliberations
very often hinge upon the judgments of the doctors. Men and women, rich and poor alike, obey his mandates. But we are later told that with all our powers the prizes to us are few. One thing, however, long known to the medical profession, startles the public —the highest death-rate of any profession in the world! And, indeed, each and every one has time and again heard the salutation: “You shouldn't get sick!” “You shouldn't catch cold!” The doctors run more risks of untimely death, defend people's homes from invisible foes, bring hope and sleep in the worst hours of pain, see life exactly as it is, daily risk their lives for others, run great chances with their families, keep patients' secrets, and do it all unconsciously of their own individual selves; yes, and as a body, often have to carry the sins of the black sheep in the flock. The profession, as a whole, will not fail to return its appreciative thanks to Mr. Kipling as well as to The Spectator.
BRITISH COLUMBIA continues an active campaign against tuberculosis. Two pamphlets have recently been issued to the teachers and school children of that Province.
The Montreal League for the Prevention of Tuberculosis will receive a donation of $50,000 from Lt.-Col. Burland of that city, on condition that the League will raise an endowment of $50,000 to provide for the support of the institution.
MR. FRANK A. RUF, President and Treasurer of the Antikamnia Chemical Co., St. Louis, has recently been decorated by the Shah of Persia with the Imperial Order of the Lion and the Sun. Mr. Ruf is a collector of Persian textile art treasures.
THE "American Woman," is the title of an article in The Spectator by Dr. Andrew MacPhail, editor of the University Magazine and the Montreal Medical Journal, which has attracted considerable attention in England and the United States.
A CLEAN milk supply for Toronto is being agitated for on the part of the Academy of Medicine and those members of the Milk Commission of the Canadian Medical Association. At the meeting of the section on Public Health of the Academy, on the evening of the 20th of October, Dr. J. A. Amyot gave an address which included certified milk, inspected milk and tuberculosis and milk.
ANEMIA AND ITS RELATION TO CATARRHAL INFLAMMATION.No disease is more common than chronic inflammation of the mucous membranes. Doubtless many causes contribute to the prevalence of this malady which spares neither the young nor the old, the rich nor the poor, the high nor the low. Prominent in its etiology, however, are sudden climatic changes, the breathing of bad or dust-laden air, bad hygiene in personal habits, and bad sanitary surroundings. These factors all singly or collectively tend to lower the vitality of the whole human organism, and as a consequence the cells throughout the body perform their various functions imperfectly, or not at all. The quality of the
blood becomes very much lowered, with the result that tissues that have important work to perform, do not receive sufficient nourishment and so falter from actual incapacity. The red blood cells are reduced in numbers and the hemoglobin is likewise diminished. Because of the blood poverty the digestive process is arrested, nutritive material is neither digested nor absorbed, and a general state of inanition ensues. It is not surprising under these circumstances, therefore, that chronic inflammation of the mucous membranes is produced. These highly organized structures with very important duties to perform, naturally suffer from insufficient nutritional support, and the phenomena of catarrh follow as a logical result. Perversion and degeneration of the cells in turn takes place, and more or less permanent changes are produced in the identity and function of the tissues. Appropriate treatment should consist primarily in correcting or eliminating all contributing factors of a bad hygienic or insanitary character. The individual should be placed under the most favorable conditions possible and every effort made to readjust the personal regime. Local conditions of the nose, throat, the vagina, or any other part, should be made as nearly normal as possible by suitable local applications or necessary operative procedures. Then attention should be directed immediately to improving the quality of the blood, and thus increase the general vitality. For this purpose vigorous tonics and hematics are desirable, and Pepto-Mangan (Gude) will be found especially useful. Through the agency of this eligible preparation, the blood is rapidly improved, the organs and tissues become properly nourished and accordingly resume their different functions. Digestion and assimilation are stimulated and restored to normal activity, and the various cells and organs start up just as would a factory after a period of idleness. In fact, Pepto-Mangan (Gude) supplies the necessary elements that are needed to establish the harmonious working of the whole organism. When this result is achieved, the catarrhal condition is decreased to a minimum and distressing symptoms are banished, a consummation that is highly gratifying to erery afflicted patient, and every earnest practitioner.
THE IMPORTANCE OF LECITHIN to the organism is demonstrated by its thorough distribution throughout the animal and vegetable kingdoms, and its value as a therapeutic agent is being appreciated more fully day by day, as experimental work progresses