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460 


PROGRESS OP MEDICAL SCIENCE. 


fortable condition. In the presence of eclampsia two indications are para¬ 
mount. The first is to cause prompt, thorough, and copious elimination by 
every possible means. The hot pact, free purgation, and saline transfusion 
are of the greatest importance. To be avoided are sedatives, which hinder 
excretion and depress the cardiac and respiratory centres. If apoplexy 
threatens, and a heavy, full pulse indicates bleeding, such a procedure is 
justifiable. It is rarely the case that a patient suffers from profound toxtemia 
and eclampsia without the beginning of labor as a direct result of the stimu¬ 
lation of the uterine nerves which the retained toxins furnish. Taking 
advantage of this conservative process, rapid delivery is indicated bo soon as 
it can be accomplished without positive and severe injury to the mother. 
The interests of the foetus are also here served, for the same poisons which 
threaten the mother often kill the child .—Therapeutic Gazette 1895 No 7 
p. 433. ’ 


Tax a- n: ast a--.. 

Me. Ferdinand Lascar recalls the fact that diastase has an action upon 
starch identical with ptyalin. Diastase is contained in a greater or less 
extent in the different extracts of malt, but in them its utility as a starch- 
converting agent will always remain a limited one. The diastase now made 
by takamine is a dry powder, tasteless, and of no perceptible odor, and is 
powerful enough to convert one hundred times its weight of starch into a 
soluble condition. The author has even converted 50 per cent, more than 
is claimed for it. One of the peculiarities of this product is the rapidity 
with which this conversion takes place, four minutes being sufficient so fully to 
produce the change that neither iodine nor the microscope can detect uncon¬ 
verted starch. In the making of the tests, as well as in the manufacture of the 
product, heat shonld be guarded against, as it easily destroys the action of 
diastase. The field of usefulness of this product is not alone in infant-feed¬ 
ing. but as well in the amylaceous dyspepsias of adults, which are by no 
means infrequent— Therapeutic Gazette, 1895, No. 7, p. 437. 

Arecolin. 

Dr. G. Lavogna has made an experimental study of the physiological 
action of this new alkaloid, which is obtained from the areca-nnt, which has 
been prescribed for the removal of tapeworm. The alkaloid occurs as the 
hydrobromate, a permanent, slightly hygroscopic salt, of the formula 
Cjfl.NOjHBr. Frohner found that it possessed sialogogue properties, even 
excelling those of pilocarpine; that it was also a laxative and water-extractive 
remedy. The author, however, ascertained that it is a myotic. Used in a 
1 per cent, solution, dropped into the conjunctival sac, there is experienced 
a feeling of warmth in the eye; some tears and spasm in the lids follow. 
These symptoms of irritation last but a minute, and frequently a shorter 
time. After the spasm of the lids has passed away there is noticed a con¬ 
junctival, or, more properly, a bulbar bypermmia, and a slight superficial 
injection of the cornea which lasts but a few minutes. After five minutes 
myosis commences, which reaches its maximum after ten minutes and per¬ 
sists about thirty minutes, when the pupils show a tendency to return to 



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their normal size, reaching it after seventy minutes. One and one-half 
hours after, slight mydriasis is noticed. The spasm of the ciliary muscle 
reaches its maximum in from one to six minutes, and then the refraction 
tends toward the normal, reaching it thirty-five minutes after the instilla¬ 
tion .—Therapculischc ifonalthefte, 1895, Heft vii. S. 384. 

The Diuretic Actio's of Theobromine. 

Dr. Henri Huchard believes that the fnture of therapeutics lies in the 
dinretics, because the permeability of the kidney is the safeguard of the 
organism, be it healthy or diseased, permitting the elimination of the toxins 
which it produces or it receives. The classification of Manquat divides 
diuretics into two groups, the mechanical and renal. The first group is 
further subdivided into (1) cardio-vascular and (2) aqueous. The second or 
renal diuretics are either (1) functional epithelial or (2) irritant epithelial 
diuretics. The functional epithelial diuretics are those which act upon the 
renal epithelium without altering it, and comprise milk, lactose, glucose, 
theobromine, potassium and sodium nitrates, asparagus, couch-grass, corn- 
silk, and elder-bark. The irritant epithelial diuretics are those which pro¬ 
voke diuresis hy causing congestion of the kidney, as juniper-berries and 
cantharidcs. These give rise to real dangers, especially the latter, and 
should always be used with great care. The experiments with theobromine 
have shown that it does not possess any action upon tho nervous syBtem. 
thus differing from cafTcine, which is a cerebral excitant. It is very slightly 
poisonous, even in large doses. It has a diuretic action less prolonged than 
digitalis, hut more so than caffeine. This diuresis follows very rapidly as a 
urinary downpour; the amount of urine frequently becomes three or four pints. 
Very rarely it produces digestive disturbances, as nausea and vomiting, 
which may be avoided by prescribing the drug in capsules of seven grains 
each. It ha 3 no action upon the heart, arteries, or blood-pressure, and is 
harmless to the kidneys. It does not offer any danger of habituation nor of 
accumulation, and it is eliminated unchanged in the urine. Finally, it is 
indicated in dropsies of cardiac origin and in the anasarca of Bright’s dis¬ 
ease. If prescribed in the above dose, eight capsules should be token on the 
first, six on the second and third, and four on the fourth day. To obtain 
the tonic effects of this drug it is employed in smaller doses, associated with 
equal parts of neutral sodium phosphate, for several weekB. Dinretin, 
sodium and theobromine salicylate are untrustworthy —Journal da Prali- 
rims, 1895, 2d semestre, No. 1, p. 5. 


Accidents following the Use of Serum. 

Galliard reports that a woman, thirty-three years old, entered his 
hospital service, complaining of a slight angina, which, however, became 
suddenly worse, so that subcutaneous injection of Eoux’s serum was admin¬ 
istered. There was no febrile reaction nor immediate accident, and convales¬ 
cence was speedily established, so that she lefttbe hospital five days later. 
Bacteriological investigation showed that.the membranes did not contain the 
[Klebs-]Loeffler bacillus, but only staphylococci and streptococci. Sixteen 



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days after the injection the patient returned with a polymorphous erythema 
and aseriona acute polyarticular rheumatism, which yielded to three drachms 
of sodium salicylate within forty-eight hours. It is impossible not to attri¬ 
bute these cutaneous and articular accidents to the effect of the serum._ 

Journal da Pratiriaie, 1895, 2d semestre. No. 8, p. 45. 

[Compare this report with the remarks of Winters, American Journal 
of the Medical Sciences, vol. cx: p. 211.—R. W. W.] 

The Curative Action of Toxin in Malignant Tumors. 

Fausto Campanini presents a scholarly paper. He has made use of 
the toxins derived from a streptococcus culture to which bacillus prodig- 
iosus was later added. The first patient suffered from a fibro-sarcomatous 
polypus of the naso-pharyngeal vault The treatment gave rise to severe 
constitutional symptoms, resulting in great debility and anaemia, and was 
therefore abandoned without, however, having produced any change in the 
tumor. The Becond patient suffered from a large myxo-sarcoma of the 
breast Twenty injections were given without giving rise to pain or general 
reaction, but inasmuch a3 they produced no effect the treatment was aban¬ 
doned. Although the writer was apparently anxious to be convinced of the 
efficacy of the injections, the results obtained were not of such a nature as 
to merit confidence in them .—11 Polidinico , 1895, No. 13, p. 301. 

The Physiological Action of Extract of Suprarenal Capsules. 

Dr. L. A. Gluzinski has found in his investigations of the extracts from 
various organs, e. g., thyroid and thymus glands, liver, pancreas, spinal cord, 
and suprarenal capsules, that upon normal animals (guinea-pigs, rabbits, 
and dogs) the glycerin extract obtained from the suprarenal capsules possesses 
markedly toxic properties. Following the injection there appeared a para¬ 
plegia of the posterior extremities, a diminution of the sensibility of the 
same, while in the anterior extremities there were slight spasms, frequently 
a distinct opisthotonos, feeble respiration, dilated pupils, dyspnceic symp¬ 
toms, and terminal general paralysis. Artificial respiration prolonged the 
life of the animal, providing that the heart was relatively good. The 
necropsy showed marked pulmonary oedema, ecchymoses, particularly in 
the pulmonary pleura and pericardium (in guinea-pigs), and the right ven¬ 
tricle and right and left auricles were strongly dilated in diastole and 
overfilled with blood. Apparently glycerin removes from the suprarenal 
capsules a substance which is extremely poisonous to the nervous system, in¬ 
fluencing the medulla and spinal cord and producing death from pulmonary 
mdema. So far as investigation has now gone, the paralysis and changes in 
peripheral nerves and their end-plates are not to be recognized as analogous 
to those produced by curare.— Wiener klinisckc Wochentckrift . 1895, No. 14 
S. 251. 


The Use of the Thyroid in Therapeutics. 

Jorfida has made use of the thyroid gland in five cases of paren¬ 
chymatous goitre. In two of these the tumor entirely disappeared, and in 



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the remaining cases there was a notable reduction in size. Detailed reports 
follow, in which it appeara that the amount used varied from twenty-eight 
to forty-five drachms, and the time required from nineteen to forty-three 
days. In four of the five patients there was a diminution of body-weight.— 
II Policlinico, 1895, No. 13, p. 338. 

Dr. Ferdinand Winkler carefully reviewa the literature. The notice¬ 
able results in myxosdema are diuresis, diminution of the myxomatous 
swelling, lessening of body-weight, disappearance of weariness, stiffness, and 
apathy. In obesity a notable diminution of body-weight has been obtained, 
and may even be more marked than when dietetics alone are relied upon. 
Both the somatic and psychic phenomena of cretinism have been markedly 
benefited by the UBe of thyroid treatment. In tetany good results have 
been obtained by Gottstein. In Basedow’s disease and acromegaly it appar¬ 
ently produced no good results. Of psoriasis a few cases were benefited, 
but lichen planus, lupus, eczema, urticaria, prurigo, and acne rosacea were 
not influenced. Menzies found great benefit from it in six cases of rupia 
syphilitica, and Abraham a marked improvement in two patients suffering 
from leprosy.— Cenlralblatt fur die Gesammte Therapie, 1895, Heft vii. S. 385. 

The Therapeutic Action of Salophen in Various Diseases. 

M. Pierre MA RIE finds that this drug should be considered as a remark¬ 
able substitute for sodium salicylate, and possesses valuable properties in 
acute and subacute articular rheumatism, and appears to possess them in 
gout. It has no action upon chronic rheumatism. One patient suffering 
from the chorea of Sydenham was cured in eight days. The drug presents 
none of the inconveniences of sodium salicylate, and has been well borne by 
all the patients. Because of its decomposition only in the intestine it does 
not produce any gastric irritation, and its slow decomposition allows of a 
larger dose—to Beventy-five and ninety grains. Usually forty-five to sixty 
grains only are required, and that in divided doses. On account of its 
tastelessness and insolubility it can be taken suspended in pure water.— Les 
Nouvtaux Remldes, 1895, No. 12, p. 272. 

The Use of Olive Oil for Biliary Colic. 

Dr. Michell Clarke reports three cases in which an initial dose of 
one ounce, which was rapidly increased, floated upon the surface of a bitter 
acid infusion, resulted in success. Eight grains of sodium salicylate, in a 
mild saline purgative, were also given before breakfast two or three times 
each week during the administration of the oil. The maximum daily dose 
of the oil was eight ounces, and the duration of the treatment from six 
weeks to three months.— British Medical Journal, 1895, No. 1802, p. 76. 

The Treatment of Tetany. 

Dr. R. K. Macalesher reports four cases. Recalling the observations of 
Vaughan, who obtained good results with quinine, even recovery in somecases 
in from eighteen to twenty-four houre, he made use of this remedy; but found 
that its effect was but palliative and temporary, not preventing frequent