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TABLE of the constituents of the substances dried. The quantity of fibrine, albumen, and gelatine, is obtained from the precedting table by calculation. The alcoholic extract expresses that obtained by alcohol from the organ dried entire, so that its numbers belong to a different series of centesimal parts. In the column expressing the sum of the alcoholic extracts united, the first is obtained directly by their addition, the second indirectly.
Villous coat of
In the following the alcoholic extracts are on-
Blood from the left ventricle of the heart,
Fibrine of muscle,
Watery extract of muscle,
Warm watery extract of skin,
Cold watery extract of pancreas,
TABLE of precipitates obtained from a solution of 100 parts of dried extract, by different reagents.
As, according to Dr Gmelin's analysis, the proportions of fibrine, albumen, and watery extract in the human kidney were as 2.78, 3.84, and 3.47, and as both experimenters proceeded in exactly the same method, the greater proportion of albumen found by Dr Wienholt is only explicable, in Professor Authenrieth's opinion, from the circumstance that he included the substance of the kidney, after being mashed, in a linen bag, and squeezed it in water, and expressed the fluid, by which means a part of the substance in the state between fibrine and albumen was mixed with the fluid, and was added to the amount of the albumen, and deducted from that of the fibrine; while Dr Gmelin merely washed the kidney cut in pieces, and laid upon a linen filter. On the other hand, the larger proportion of watery extract or impure gelatine which Dr Gmelin obtained, is to be ascribed to his having been obliged to employ a human kidney in a less fresh state, and when the acid fermentation already begun had converted a part of the albumen into a state resembling gelatine. This is rendered probable, because he got less watery extract and more albumen from the kidneys of ani. mals which he examined perfectly fresh.
So much do the most trifling circumstances alter animal substances obtained by analysis, and so important is it to compare only experiments made under perfectly similar circumstances, in order to obtain certain, but, after all, only relative results.
A Compendium of Medical Practice, illustrated by Interesting and Instructive Cases, and by Practical, Pathological, and Physiolo gical Observations. By JAMES BEDINGFIELD, Surgeon, late Apothecary to the Bristol Infirmary. London, 1816. pp. 309. THIS HIS is really a better book than its title led us to expect. Compendiums of Medical Practice have in general very few attractions for the scientific and zealous student. They may evince industry and judgment in the compiler, but they are generally destitute of originality either of thought or observation. They may be very useful books by assisting the memory of the unexperienced practitioner, or as a repertory to consult occasionally while works of a higher description are not at hand; and they are sometimes excellent books in the language of the booksellers, or sell very readily, and are, therefore, profitable to them. It is to this cause that we are disposed to attribute the affixing of the title of Compendium to the volume before us, and we regret it, for, in fact, although it notices a great number of diseases, it cannot be called, and will not be considered by purchasers, as a compendium; while, on the other hand, by attempting to assimilate the work to the title, it is unnecessarily lengthened, not only by the introduction of Dr Cullen's definitions at the head of the chapters, and of many chapters which had much better been omitted, but it has unfortunately prevented the author from considering his materials in that point of view in which alone they are valuable.
It is as an epitome and record of the medical practice in the Bristol Infirmary during the last five years, that the volume before us deserves notice, and, therefore, we regret especially, hat the author had not confined his views to this one object, and employed the means, which he undoubtedly possessed as apothecary to the institution, to render it as perfect as possible. A monography, if we use the term, of the hospital would have been a valuable addition to this volume, by which we mean some account of the building itself, and any thing remarkable in its arrangement, mode of heating or ventilation; the description of patients admitted; their classification; regulations in regard to their conduct, as affecting their health; the diet tables; the number and duties of the officers and servants; the ordinary and extraordinary expences of the establishment, &c. &c. In
formation concerning these circumstances is of great importance, both to those projecting an establishment of the kind, and as furnishing data by which those interested may judge whether existing hospitals be well managed, or may be improved. In a professional point of view, some of these circumstances are inti❤ mately connected with the medical treatment. We especially regret that our author has not thought fit to publish a regular series of the periodical reports of the patients admitted, with the diseases under which they laboured, and their events; to which should be added, a statement of the patients affected with other diseases while in the hospital.
Having stated what we think might have been added naturally, and with advantage to this volume, we now proceed to state what it actually contains. It consists chiefly of a very compen dious history of the diseases which Mr Bedingfield observed in the Bristol Infirmary, with the effects of the treatment employed. On some diseases the remarks are very concise and general, and convey no information; but, on other occasions, they are extended to considerable length, and sometimes contain bold and original propositions, and are illustrated by the history of individual cases, and an account of the appearances found on dissection. The arrangement is very faulty. This, however, is of little importance in a volume of clinical observations.
The first section treats of some affections of the scalp, hydrocephalus, apoplexy, hemiplegia, phrenitis, inflammation of the pia mater, abscess of the brain, epilepsy, chorea, and tic douloureux, and concludes with a chapter on the functions of the brain.
The following account of the treatment of chorea is worth extracting, because it is so different from that which has been found so successful since it was first recommended and explained by our experienced friend Dr Hamilton, senior. We do not doubt the accuracy and truth of Mr Bedingfield's report; it only adds another to the many proofs we have, that the same diseased action may be interrupted and overcome by very different means.
Upwards of forty cases of this disease have presented themselves at this infirmary within the last five years. With one exception they were all cured by the oxid of zinc, given in the manner recommended for epilepsy; in fact, so speedily and decidedly did this remedy put a stop to the disease, that I cannot avoid regarding it as a specific for it. Why it has so frequently failed in the hands of other practition ́ers I cannot tell; probably, however, the failure arose from its not having been given wita sufficient regularity, and in sufficient doses to excite nausea. In some patients this oxid cured the disease without
producing a nauseating effect, but these cases were of short duration, and not very violent.
- Perhaps tartarized antimony would cure the disease with equal certainty, but it is a less manageable medicine, and the nausea it induces is of a more distressing nature. When the cases were of extreme obstinacy and violence, the cold shower-bath was directed in conjunction with the zinc, and sometimes with advantage. When the disease seemed to depend upon the retention of the menses, electricity was found useful. Occasional purgatives were employed, but I do not recollect any case in which constipation formed a prominent symptom.
"The subjects of this disease were mostly between the ages of seven and nine, and twelve and fifteen years; in one case only had the patient reached her eighteenth year. This patient was more decidedly benefited by electricity than any other.
"The disease sometimes arose spontaneously; in by far the greater number of instances, however, it was induced by the children having been frightened. Retention of the menses formed another frequent exciting cause. The case which resisted the long-continued exhibition of the oxid of zinc was finally cured by the following combination:
"B Tinct. Opii dr. ij. Liq. Ant. Tartariz. dr. vi. M. "Of this, thirty drops were taken three times a-day.
"The patient, a boy, was twelve years of age." p. 51, 52.
Surely the author has ascribed too much to retention of the menses as a cause of disease in patients most of whom were not fifteen years old. We have seen chorea become very frequent in a seminary for the education of girls, by imitation, and its progress checked by separation. We cannot congratulate our au thor on being more successful than his predecessors in his attempt to explain the functions of the brain, which is quite misplaced in a practical volume.
The second section relates to the diseases of the lungs, trachea, and fauces, with which are associated, incongruously enough, ophthalmia, dentition, and toothach. The following mode of exhibiting an anodyne in the last affection is new to us, although smoking tobacco is very common.
"The toothach is sometimes permanently relieved by the application of the fumes of henbane seed. The smoke may be directed to the affected tooth by being drawn through a tobacco pipe; this method, however, will upon some persons produce extreme nausea. The following process will be found more eligible and equally efficacious.
"Put from one to two drachms of the seed upon a red hot iron, or some lighted cinders, and immediately cover them over with a ba sin. As soon as you suppose the seed to be consumed, and the vessel impregnated with the fumes, place it upon its bottom, and fill it with boiling water. The person affected with the toothach is then to