DRINK IN THE HOSPITAL.
TO THE EDITOR.
Sin,—At a recent meeting of the Hospital Trustees there uas reference made to the difficulty or expense of obtaining wine for the use of v tho patients. This reminded mo that on calling a week ago on a sick friend I was told that the medical attendant had ordered wine, and had asked if the patient knew of any gentleman from whom a litt'.o "good" wine could be got, as the wine in the market could not be depended on.
Noiv this and much more which one hears—a gentleman of this city told me but the other day that he had been nearly killed by a glass of so-called " Bhecry " which he had taken with a friend in one of our respectable hotels—raises the question of tho wisdom or necessity of our medical men prescribing wines or other kindred liquors to their patients, when they are so little able to judge of the nature of that which will be supplied, or cf the effects it may produce on those who may have to run the risk of its use.
There exists now abundant evidence of the absolute safety and satisfactory success of the treatment of disease without alcohol. The temperance hospitals of London and Chicago bear witness, as do also a number of eminent medical men who have either banished alcohol altogether from their practice or only administer it —as Dr Richardson does—in very exceptional cases, and then not in the form of wine, brandy, or ale, but as absolute alcohol, of which he knows the real ttrength, and i* therefore able to prescribe in a dose scienfically exact. From among a number of testimonies on the subject I ask you to publish two which I annex, and which may serve to call public attention to an important subject.—lam, etc., St. Andrew. Duuedin, June 15.
Dr Singleton, of Melbourne, now over eighty, says he has keen an abstainer for sixty-four years, and for over fifty-nine years has hardlf ever prescribed alcohol, l.'o finds that other, camphor, or carbonate of ammonia quite as weli answer the purpose. Eighty thousand persons had consulted him at a dispensary, and to not one of these had he prescribed alcahol. Dr N. S. Davis, of Chicago, the Nestor of American physicians, writing to one of tho leading medical journals if America, t&ya : "A leadmsr article in the 'Medical News'of December 24,1887, in referring to ' an outline of tho modes of treatment in typhoid fever purßued at twelvo of tho chief hospitals of this country,'says: 'The use of alcohol is recommended by all the writers, and wc have as yet no substitute for it in the progressive asthenia of the disease.' Befcra knowing how much value cm bo awarded to this apparently united testimony in fnvor of alcohol in typhoid fever, it wouM be necessary to know how many cases of the fever any one or all of the writerH alluded to have actually treated without alcohol, that the-y might have a fair basis of comparison of the results. We havo tried the experiment of treating typhoid fever and ail other general fevers without using alcoholic remedies, both in hospital and private practice for thirty yens, and have found no difficulty in finding better remedies for counteracting the aathenia of th<s fever, and obtaining a higher rate of recoveries than has over been obtained with its use. With iodine a« general alterant and antisceptic to counteract the molecular degeneration in tho tissues and the blood, and the choice of cardiac and vaso-motor tonics from the chiss of remedies iep:eented by digitalis, coffee, tea, strychnia, strophantus carbonate ammonia, camphor, etc, according ;-o the special symptoms of each case, and vigi'ant attention to tlo local complications that are in many cases more dangerous to the patient than the general disease, with an equally vigilant attention to tho proper administration of simple nourishment and pure air, we have no place or need for the use of alcohol as a remedy in these caees. And of a considerable number of intelligent and active pract'tioners who have tried the game cxpeiiinent, though for a less number of years, I have not yet found one who was not fully satisfied witlr the result."
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DRINK IN THE HOSPITAL., Evening Star, Issue 7940, 22 June 1889, Supplement
DRINK IN THE HOSPITAL. Evening Star, Issue 7940, 22 June 1889, Supplement
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