Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 64 > Page 50 - Dr. A.W. Miller: Notes from a Medical Practice Down North, 1906

Page 50 - Dr. A.W. Miller: Notes from a Medical Practice Down North, 1906

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1993/8/1 (154 reads)

rhage stopped in ten or fifteen seconds. Gave her a douche and packed. Recounted the incident to the visiting doctors at Mayo's Clinic some years later. They were horri? fied at my action. At last one of them, re? covering from shock, asked me if I were not afraid of causing infection. I replied that owing to profuse hemorrhage infection was improbable, but that even if it did occur, I still had a chance of saving the woman's life; but none at all if the hemorrhage continued as it was a minute or two longer. They considered the matter and at last agreed that my action was not only justi? fied but lifesaving. I was heartily com? mended where at first I was condemned. Was called one night to visit a woman twen? ty-five miles away, who was suffering from a severe pain in the stomach. After plough? ing through many seemingly impassible snow? banks, I arrived at the house. The woman gave me no indication of the cause of the pain. Her stomach was distended, and I could feel a crepitant tumour. Gave her chlorodyne to ease the pain. Before leaving the house, a neighbour asked me if the wom? an had told me about eating stones. She had not. Returning to the woman's room, I ques? tioned her. She admitted that the day be? fore, walking along a road, she had picked up a large number of small stones and swal? lowed them. One of the idiosyncrasies of pregnancy. A rather drastic purgative was my treatment, with good results. A few experiences with bichloride of mercu? ry tablets may be interesting. Case No. 1: A young man, not too bright, applied to me for treatment for an ulcer on his leg. I gave him six bichloride tablets, some oint? ment and dressings with instructions as to U-DO CRAFT SUPPUES LOCAL CRAFTS 'WICKER AND WOOD Crafts & Supplies AND MUCH MUCH MORE! Drop in and enjoy our Ui-rge selection jor your personal use or jor giJts. 1818 KING'S ROAD, SYDNEY B1P6G5 ' 564-9877 their use. Did not see the man for several weeks. On meeting him inquired how he was getting along. "Doctor," he said, "I ate every one of those tablets you gave me and all they did for me was to make me sick and vomit." A lifesaving sickness, was it not? Case No. 2: Called to a house to see a man suffering from an ulcerated leg. Gave him some bichloride tablets to wash the ulcer and cautioned him particularly to keep the tablets out of reach of a seven-year-old boy in the house. While I was still in the house, he went to the kitchen to obtain a basin of warm water, placing one of the tablets on the kitchen table. The young boy appeared, saw the tablet and swallowed it. The alarmed yell of the father fright? ened every one in the house. Grabbing the boy, I forced the end of a broom-handle between his teeth and ran my finger down his throat, with the result that the tab? let was expelled. Case No. 3: But perhaps the most drastic treatment I ever handed out for bichloride poisoning was given to a woman. She and her husband were not getting along well and she became tired of life. One day passing her home, a man, not her husband, came rushing out calling me to come quickly as the woman had swallowed poison. Hurrying up to the house, I inquired from the woman if she had swallowed any poisoning. She denied having done so. "But, yes," the man exclaimed, "I saw her swallowing poison tablets." "Oh, the man is crazy," the woman replied. "Cra? zy, I'll show you," he yelled. And rushing to another room he soon appeared with a box of which traces of bichloride were plainly seen. "I saw her swallow five tablets from this box." I was convinced. Had no emetic with me. Asked the man if there was any milk in the house. "Not any." Any eggs? "No, but I can get you some." "Do so quick? ly," I replied. In a minute or two he ap? peared with eggs, and as luck would have it they were thoroughly rotten. Forced her to swallow two of these. And it was not long till there was profuse vomiting. Whipped up my horse to my office and soon returned with a tube of apomorphine. Gave her a hypo of this, and I venture to say that never before or after did she have such a cleaning out of her stomach. She never took any more poison. How a kindly Providence watches over us puny mortals was forcibly called to my attention by a pregnant woman. She was suffering from a most exag? gerated leakage of the heart. I had kept her in bed for six weeks but al? lowed her to get around about two weeks before the expected confine? ment . Hoping to be able to give her some stimulation to help her through her ordeal. I cautioned her to let me know at the first approach of labour pains. She lived only about two hun? dred yards from my office. Several
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download