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sometimes result from idiosyncracy of temperament; sometimes, from inapplicability to the disease itself.
Its primitive action is on the nervous system ; having also a reflex action on the arterial system, in different cases producing different re. sults. Its essential action in the cure of disease is entirely unknown.
In the great majority of cases, quinine, given in moderate doses, will effect every useful purpose, and without hazard to the patient; whereas, in 20, 30, or 40-grain doses, although generally successful in its opera. tion, dangerous and sometimes fatal consequences occur.
Its value as a therapeutic agent in yellow fever, remains yet to be proved.
In the catalogue of medicines, to none has nature assigned greater virtues than to the substance in consideration : in every ramification of the civilized world, its benign influence has been felt and acknowledged; hundreds and thousands of lives which would have been sacrificed to the poisonous exhalations by which we are encompassed, have, by its . kindly influence, been preserved. All previous discoveries registered in the annals of medicine, sink into insignificance in comparison to the great boon conferred upon humanity in the discovery of this magical substance. The country which we live in — the great South and West, teeming with human inhabitants, animated by manufactures, enriched by commerce, and smiling in agricultural beauty, owes much of its prosperity to this simple powder. How earnest, then, is the call for each laborer in the field of medicine, to co-operate in efforts to eluci. date the subtile principles which regulate the perfect action of this medicine, and to reveal to the world its intrinsic excellence and value.
VII.- A Case illustrative of the beneficial efects of the Nilrale of Sil.
rer in strong solution, in Acute Opthalmia. By O. F. Manson, M.D., North Carolina.
J. N., æt. 40, of sound constitution and robust frame, had been suffering for two days from an eruption of large pustules over the scalp and face, induced by eating enormous quantities of butter of which he was passionately fond; one of the pustules had fornied near the margin of the inferior palpebra, from whence the inflammation rapidly extended over the whole eye. When I first saw him he was suffering the most agonizing pain, the pain darting “through his eyes and through his head” as he expressed it, and of such intensity as to elicit loud cries from the patient every minute, the darting pain being paroxysmal. The eyelids were so completely closed and swollen that the eyeball could not be seen by attempting to open them. The patient had high fever, hot, dry skin, furred tongue and fixed pain in the forehead and temples. I bandaged his arm, and bled him upwards of two pounds ; when symptoms of syncope appearing the flow of blood was stopped; at bed time, seve. ral hours after, 20 yrs. of calomel were exhibited, to bo followed in the morning by a large dose of Sulph. Magnesia. 10 A. M. next morning, fever has abated somewhat, but the pain and inflammation have not
perceptibly declined; eye still completely closed, and can be but very slightly separated by the fingers. Applied 30 leeches in the course of an hour (the medicines have operated well) but without being followed by an apparent diminution of the symptoms. Pain still excrutiating, causing the patient to contort bis whole body; even to witness the agony of the sufferer was painful to the bystander. All must own from this imperfect description, that this was a case of the most acute character, and that the practice adopted was well calculated to relieve it; but I am very certain that the patient was suffering as greatly, and that the symptoms of inflammation were as well developed, with the exception of a slight decline in the general exitement, as they were before the treatment was had recourse to. I now determined on using a strong solution of the caustic, and mixed 10 grs. to the ounce of water; four or five drops of the solution were introduced into the external corner of the eyelids, the patient only complaining for a very short space of time of a slight smarting sensation which could not properly be termed pain. In five minutes the patient expressed himself reliered of pain, and after the reapplication of the collyrium three or four hours afterwards, the pain entirely subsided to return no more, the patient falling asleep for the first tiine in 50 or 60 hours. Since treating this case, I rely upon a strong solution of Lunar Caustic alone in the treatment of acute opthalmia. I have introduced it into the eye of my own infant, 16 months old, and can recommend it as a safe and effectual remedy; but at the same time would reprehend a weak solution, except in cases of a chronic character, in which I have found it more useful than the 10 grs, solution.
Granville Co., N. C.
VIII.-On Magneto-Electricity, us a Derivative and as a Parturient.
By Dr. N. WALKLY, [A Paper read before the Mobile Medical Society, at its meeting in May, 1845.]
I wish to call the attention of the Society to the beneficial effects of Magneto-Electricity as a derivative, in certain cases of cachexia peculiar to females, dependent usually upon uterine derangement.
In cases of uterine engorgement or displacement, and in some cases of uterine or vaginal leucorrhea, we meet with the same train of symp. toms, viz., pain in the back and loins, pain in the side, palpitations, difficulty of moving the lower extremities, &c., usually accompanied by depraved appetite ; and if her circumstances are such that she is not compelled, the patient will omit the necessary exercise which is requisite to keep up the circulation in the extremities, and, as a consequence, her limbs will become atrophied and partially paralyzed; the blood which should have supplied the lower extremities is withdrawn, thereby increasing the visceral engorgement.
And the excess of nervous action which would have been exhausted by the proper exercise, now exhausts itself
, by exciting an increased inflammation of the uterus or its appendages, which, in turn, reacts ou
the general system, deranging its functions of nutrition, producing this cachectic state, and she lingers out a miserable existence, or-goes into a decline, becomes low-spirited-a sympathetic, dry, hacking cough sets up. She commences doctoring for consumption; confines herself to the house ; pustulates her chest with tartar emetic, and uses debili. tating remedies, until her system is reduced to a state suitable to the production of tubercles, and finally hectic supervenes, and she dies of a consumption of her own cultivation.
In these cases, taken before any organic change of structure of the lumgs has taken place, I have found magneto-electricity to be a valuable remedy.
By daily passing a rapid succession of shocks through the limbs, muscular action and circulation are restored, and blood necessary to supply this circulation is withdrawn from the engorged viscera.
From the almost immediate relief experienced by the patient of some of her neuralgic symptoms, she begins to hope that she may be cured, and usually pins her faith to the electrical machine, and if she is cured, is certain that the electrical machine has affected it.
I have before me the notes of a case in point, which will illustrate the mode of application in those cases.
Miss M-, of bilious nervous temperament, aged 18, had been in a bad state of health for about four years; was supposed, by her friends, to be dying of consumption. I found her very much emaciated; lips colorless; had been confined to her bed ten months. She complained of chilly sensation, succeeded by flushing several times a-day, but had no night-sweats, or apparent perspiration of any kind. By percussion and auscultation, no lesion of the lungs could be detected. She complained of constant pain and soreness beneath the left breast. I found a tumor occupying the right iliac region, which, she informed me, in. creased and diminished in size ; that when she became constipated, she had fevers, and at those times it enlarged and gave her much pain, and at that time cathartics had little other effect than to cause vomiting, and increase of pain. She supposed this to be an abscess, which discharged into the intestines, as its giving away, as she termed it, was followed by a diarrhæa, after which she was relieved. This giving away had occurred once a month, with strict regularity, since the total suppression of her catamenia (twelve months). Her catamenia ap . peared in her thirteenth year, but had never been regular. Her digestive functions were entirely deranged; the stomach very irritable ; some. times the appetite craving, and, if gratified, occasioning great distress ; at other times, with no appetite, and the stomach rejecting every thing offered. For a few days preceding each attack of diarrhæa, she suffered much pain on the inside of the right leg, following the course of the sciatic nerve, and in the knee joint, which subsided after the recurrence of the diarrhæa.
When I first saw her, the tumour was at nearly its maximum size, her pulse short and quick, and skin dry. I applied cups over the iliac region of that side, followed by emollient poultices, and administered opiates, to enable her to sleep. The next morning her diarrhea set in, and afforded her relief: I permitted the diarrhæa to continue two days, and then, by means of chalk julep, suspended it.
On the 8th of June, the day after the checking of the diarrhæa, she had an attack of hysteria, which led me to think that her disease depended more upon uterine derangement than I had suspected. I pro. posed an examination, for the purpose of ascertaining whether any dis. placement or tumefaction of the uterus existed, but both her mother and herself objected; the mother “knew that all was right, with the excep. tion of her courses being stopped.” I ascertained, however, that since she commenced menstruating she had been irregular, had been troubled with leucorrhea, and had suffered with dragging-down pains in the back, and was unable to go up stairs during that time except with diffi. culty. I declined treating her any farther, unless an examination was permitted, and left her. I was sent for that night, and found her affected with hysteric convulsions, which yielded readily to tinct. assafætida, and the next morning I was permitted to make the examination.
On examination, I found it to be a case of anteversion, with an incli. nation of the fundus of the uterns into the right iliac region, while the os uteri was pressed into the cavity on the left side of the rectum. Con. siderable inflammation of the uterus existed, which was so exquisitively sensitive, that no effort at replacing it could be tolerated.
I gave her antimonials, with a view of removing the inflammatory tendency, and directed vaginal injections of warm water, but this rather aggravated the pain. I afterwards used cold water, without any appa. rent advantage. I then resolved to apply the electricity as a derivative. I placed her feet in warm water, with the negative pole of the battery, while she held the positive over the sciatic nerve, on the upper part of the thigh, immediately below Poupart's ligament of each leg, alter. nately: the application was continued for about three minutes, and was made twice a-day until the 24th, with manifest improvement of health.
On examination this day, I found the engorgement of the uterus much diminished, and that it had assumed its upright position, though there was considerable prolapsus; it has also entirely lost its sensitiveness.
Her digestive functions were much improved. I gave her, in pill, cit. ferri et quinine, gr. i, to be taken twice a day, and continued the same application of electricity until the 29th. She is now able to sit up most of the time, and walk about the room. I directed her to sponge her body with salt water every morning, and to continue the tonic pills.
June 30th, called on her for the last time, being about to leave town, and directed her, as it was convenient, to take a cold shower-bath every morning. Found the uterus in place without even a slight prolapsus. She thinks she is well. The catamenia has not appeared. She complains of slight pain in the back. Directed her to use a tepid hip-bath, and to take some warm teas, to induce diaphoresis : this relieved the pain in her back, without bringing on her courses.
On that day I left for Mobile, and did not hear from her until I called on her on the 20th of August. I found her apparently well in health, but looking dejected. Her mother informed me that her general health had been good, but that, on the 1st of July, she was attacked with spit. ting of blood, and that she spit up about half a tumbler-full each morning for four mornings, and that, at about the first of August, she commenced vomiting blood, that she vomited up a considerable quantity in three days, that they sent for a physician, who gave her salt and water, which stopped
it; that she was gloomy at times, thinking that she must be in the last stages of consumption to throw up so much blood. I found that her catamenia had not appeared. I commenced that day applying electricity as before ; told her, that I would prevent another attack of spitting blood, by re-establishing her courses. I continued the application, with no medicine, until the 28th, when I directed her to use a warm hip-bath, and immediately afterwards I placed her feet in the bath with the nega. tive electrode, while the positive was placed over the lumbar nerves. I had not continued the application more than three minutes before the menstrual discharge commenced taking place ; it continued for five days: she has been regular ever since, and has enjoyed good health. I would here remark, that the immediate effect of each application as applied, in the above case, was to increase temporarily the size of the limbs, by increasing their circulation, so that the calf of the leg measured half an inch more in circumference, after each application, than before ; and by thus daily continuing the exercise of the muscles, producing a perma. nent increase, until they attained their normal size.
I will here read to the society the notes of a few cases which will exhibit the beneficial effects of this agent when applied perseveringly through the extremities as a revellant in those cases of sterility depend. ing upon engorgement, or a tendency to inflammation, of the uterus or its appendages.
Mrs. A had suffered from irritable uterus after the birth of her last child (six years), and with attacks of hysteritis at each menstrual period, and with consequent derangement of general health. In March, 1843, I commenced making the application of electricity through the extremities, by placing the negative pole of the electrical machine in a foot-bath with her feet, while she held the positive in both hands. I made this application three times a-week. She had no return of the hysteritis a: her next menstrual period, and in a few weeks was relieved of the irritability of the uterus. The application was continued for up. wards of three months. Her general health was restored, and she has since become the mother of a pair of twins.
Mrs. W has suffered with hysteria and hysteritis for several years, yet has still continued to have children, until her last, which is three years
old. After the birth of that child, she was partially para. lyzed in the left side, which became atrophied; the limbs but about half their original size : muscular action was not much impaired, and sensibility was nearly normal, nutrition only being seriously impaired. I employed electricity through the affected side twice a week, in the manner directed in the preceding case, and occasionally through both sides, from July 1st until December of 1843. Nutrition of the affected side was restored, and it regained the normal size, and her health ro. mained good until February, 1845, when she died of puerperal fever, leaving a pair of twins.
Mrs. Y. sent for me on the 2d of September, 1844, to relieve her of a neuralgia under which she was suffering. She had an acute, lancinat. ing pain between the shoulders and supra-orbital neuralgia, together with partial paralysis of the lower extremities, bearing-down pain in the lower part of the abdomen, with considerable enlargement, which had existed from the birth of her child (three months). I applied elec