Posted by Captain Everett on March 10, 1998 at 23:20:08:
In response to Very Interesting..., written by P. Bingham on March 08, 1998 at 22:24:01
] That was very well added and thank you very much. I've not seen anything like that but it makes so much sense and I imagine this had been the typical thought for centuries. Do you have any other information about this, I'd be very interested.
You're welcome. I'm afraid I don't have very much information beyond this. I noted it down primarily because I haven't seen the concept of Humours explained that clearly anywhere else. In addition, Dr. Williams was only using it as an introduction to show what the medical knowledge at the time was, and how it fit in with the rest of his talk. He emphasised both this simplistic structure to the world, along with the lack of technology (eg the stehascope didn't appear until 1826). This put the emphasis on what the Doctor could actually "see." For example, tuberculosous was called consumption because it consumed the body; it was not until lung tissue was examined under the microscope that they found the "tubes." Or recall the Doctors' fascination with His Majesty's bowl movements in the movie "The Madness of King George." Another example Dr. Williamson provided was that of "laudible pus" which can be found in almost any wound, was regarded as a good thing, as it appeared in any healing wound.
He also discussed the changing role of the Hospital, which once was little more than a place for the poor to die in some degree of comfort. Surgeons were also quite different in 1812. They had less social standing than the Doctors as they did not need to attend university, and had many aspects of a learned "trade." The military had its own adaptation to the Hospital and Surgeons (and his helpers).
The Doctor also went into the various methods of bleeding. The methods and rational behind the heavy reliance on amputation for battlefield wounds was covered. The combination of fractured bone and open wound had a fatality rate of 90% if "untreated", while ampuation only killed 10-50%.
The second half of the Doctor's talk included a slide presentation featuring the remains of the American soldiers found near Old Fort Erie several years ago. He described what was learned about the person, his background, how he was injured and died, etc.
I have a few other bits of information on Military Medicine of the period. This includes Paul Litt (et al), Death at Snake Hill which gives details on those remains. I also have a photocopy of John Douglas, Medical Topography of Upper Canada (1819), written by an Assistant-Surgeon from the War of 1812. He describes the land and climate, and how it effects disease. Quite interesting, but one almost needs a modern medical knowledge, of something linking the old names (eg remitting vs intermittant fevers) with the new terms identifying a disease.
I hope this provided some enlightenment, and I can see what I can find in response to specific questions.
I remain, etc.
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- Caps Ken 13:14:09 3/16/98 (1)
- that's right! P. Bingham 16:57:47 3/17/98 (0)
- Forgive my vanity, but... Captain Everett 22:22:22 3/15/98 (9)
- no apologies... P. Bingham 13:10:24 3/17/98 (2)
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- HERE's the Link Captain Everett 23:10:01 3/15/98 (0)
- HERE's the Link Captain Everett 23:09:07 3/15/98 (0)
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