Friday, 3 February 2012

Medical Congress 1887

Carrying on with the audit of Official Publications I came across the report on the ninth International Medical Congress held in Washington in 1887 The author is from the army in England, and he notes the presentations given, and the discussions following them.
One of the presentations remarked about a European Officer in the Afghan Campaign whose duties and responsibilities made great calls upon his energies. He listened to a native officer who suggested to try opium as they do, the officer followed his advice with a “striking benefit.”
Another was about abdominal surgery - An Italian was stabbed, he walked to the hospital where the wound was dealt with. On the following day, although his pulse and temperature were normal he felt a lot of pain and then he vomited green material.
Following on from the Medical Congress the author visited the John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. He mentions “ Nor do I think that such a hospital, with its elaborate and expensive organisation and arrangements would be necessary or even warranted in this country, where there are so many other and more pressing needs. As regards the sick, the same objects might be attained at a much less cost.”
The plans for this hospital are attached to the book and show great depth of detail. This book gives such an insight into the 1880s field of medicine, civilian and army situations, from drinking water to various gunshot wounds, and the spread of disease.
(photo from book)