Scientific American Supplement No. 819, September 12, 1891 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 130 pages of information about Scientific American Supplement No. 819, September 12, 1891.

   [Footnote 1:  Resuscitation of the Apparently Drowned, by R.L. 
   Bowles, M.D., F.R.C.P., Medico-Chirurgical Transactions, vol.
   lxxii., 1889.]

I think it must be admitted that pulling the tongue forward as a means of opening the glottis, which has become a standard treatment in asphyxia, is unscientific, and not warranted by the results of experiments made to determine its value.[2]

[Footnote 2:  Dragging on the tongue’s tip would not affect its base or the epiglottis sufficiently to make it a praiseworthy procedure.  Medico-Chirurgical Transactions, vol. lxxii.  See also Medical Record, April 4, 1891.  Pulling out the tongue is a mistake, since irritation of nerves of deglutition stops the diaphragm.—­Medical Times and Gazetteer.]

Dr. Bowles also believes that “the safety of the patient is most perfectly secured by keeping him on one side during the whole treatment, one lung being thus kept quite free.”  With the account of my case I have brought forward such views of other writers as it seemed to me would be of practical service and throw light on a subject which is of great importance, since the yearly record of mortality from drowning is by no means inconsiderable.  I think, however, that a knowledge of what ought to be done in cases of drowning should be much more generally diffused than is the case at present.  It should be one of the items of school instruction, since no one can tell when such knowledge may be of immense importance in saving life, and the time lost in securing medical aid would involve a fatal result.

It is also very desirable that all doubt should be removed, by the decision of competent medical authorities, as to which “ready” method or methods are the best, since there are several in the field.  With this should be decided what is the best means for securing patency of the air passages, and, in short, a very careful revision of the treatment now recommended for drowning, in order that there may be no doubt as to the course which should be adopted in such a serious emergency.—­Medical Record.

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[Footnote 1:  Presidential address before the British Association, Cardiff, 1891.]


The opening meeting of the British Association was held in Park Hall, Cardiff, August 18, where a large and brilliant audience assembled, including, in his richly trimmed official robes, the Marquis of Bute, who this year holds office as mayor of Cardiff.  At the commencement of the proceedings Sir Frederick Abel took the chair, but this was only pro forma, and in order that he might, after a few complimentary sentences, resign it to the president-elect, Professor Huggins, the eminent astronomer, who at once, amid applause, assumed the presidency and proceeded to deliver the opening address.

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Scientific American Supplement No. 819, September 12, 1891 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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