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J. A. (Joel Asaph) Allen.

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cases in the first hundred, and one in the last three. Some were
simple hysterectomies, but ninety per cent, were very complicated.
I have known more women to die from neglect than from opera-
tion. In the past the intra-peritoneal methods have been much
less satisfactory than the extra-peritoneal. The so-called intra-
peritoneal or drop methods have unquestionably been improved,
but the very best results have been attained by some German
operator by clean and complete extirpation. Hegar has had a series
of twenty-two cases without a , death. The supra- vaginal, extra-
peritoneal method is much the simpler one, and if you remove a
healthy tumor from a healthy peritoneal cavity, and make the
pedicle at the internal os, there is no reason why the case should
not get well. It is only the complicated cases that you lose.

Suppurative forms of tubal and ovarian disease must bear a
causal relation to fibroid tumors. I rarely remove a fibroid with-
out finding an occluded tube or suppurative form of disease.

A good deal has been said about complete extirpation. If you
ligate and place two or three pedicles in the vagina and match
the peritoneum above, you have an extra-peritoneal method. If
you apply forceps, you can match the peritoneum above and have
the pedicle in the vagina.

The merits of a method should not be judged by a few isolated
triumphs. In the hands of a few, the intra-peritoneal method of
dealing with the stump has been measurably successful, yet the
statistics of results, as well as the weight of surgical opinion,



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LYSOL. 37

Strongly favor the extra-peritoneal method. The greater uni-
formity of successful results is with this procedure. Through it
we can deal better with the visible and the obscure complications.
One of the factors of our better success in hysterectomy is that we
have less ignorant meddling with the stump of the pedicle. In
these operations, as in others, there should be no morbid products
left behind, nothing that can produce recurrence of disease.
There doubtless will be further improvements in the mechanical
appliances employed in our procedures, but there is something
more in the work than the merely mechanical part. Too many
instruments discredit our skill.



©FranAPafiori.



LYSOL.

Bt Dr. HENRI db PARVILLE.

(Translated from Lm Annates')

Bt Mb8. CARLTON A. KINGSBURY, of Westfleld, N. Y.

Fob some time, one has heard on all sides of lysol. What is it ?
Lysol promises to become the king of antiseptics. What is an
antiseptic ? A substance which kills microbes ! What are
microbes ? Microscopic organisms which, in favorable conditions,
multiply with frightful rapidity ; only one germ is necessary to
multiply, in a few hours, into thousands and millions. From the
labors of Pasteur, of Davaine, and of their disciples, it has been
demonstrated that epidemic diseases and contagious affections
have their origin in a microbe ; each malady has its specific
microbe, which takes the name, according to kind — bacteria, vibrio,
micrococcus, etc. In case of crime, one says : " Search for the
woman ! " In case of disease, one says today : *< Search for the
microbe ! " And in fact, it is found in cases where it is least
suspected. Carbuncles, for example, have their origin in a
microbe, and carbuncles are contagious ; when a person has one,
others are sure to follow. Tetanus has its cause in a microbe, etc.
But the great epidemic diseases are, above all, microbic affections ;
for example, cholera, yellow fever, typhoid and septic fevers,
measles, small-pox, diphtheria, contagious pneumonia, grippe,
tuberculosis, and its cousin germain, scrofula. Even in animal
diseases — search for the microbe !

These new doctrines, founded upon certain discoveries, upon



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38 TRANSLATION.

seyerely contested facts, have wrought a complete revolution in
medical theories and modify considerably, therapeutics. One may
declare that the whole progress of surgery has been brought about
by the antiseptic ; a great number of victories won by medicine
are due to an antiseptic. It rules, rightly, in all large cities, in
the medical centers of Europe, in England, Germany, France,
Russia — everywhere. The antiseptic has saved from death a
large number of sick people. Since antiseptic dressings for wounds
have been used, it is estimated that the mortality in surgical
operations has been lowered from 50 per 100 to 5 per 100. In
accouchement, it has fallen from 20 per 100 to 3 per 100. Why ?
Because antiseptics kill the deadly microbes ! Into a badly pro-
tected wound, atmospheric germs penetrate. These microdrgan-
isms fall upon the bare flesh, find an excellent place for
development, penetrating the system and infecting it. One
suffices to people the tissues and bring death. The antiseptic
placed upon the wound is a vigilant guard. It kills the microbe
which presents itself ; it prevents it from penetrating the flesh and
pursuing its work of destruction.

We have not, until now, believed in the internal antiseptic ;
that is, in antiseptics introduced into the body. The problem
becomes complicated, and the recent personal observation of
Doctor A. Hobiu, who saw contagious pneumonia declare itself in
a house saturated with corrosive sublimate, but serves to give us
more confidence in the internal antiseptic. The microbe enters
our houses, finds a lodging place, and grows and multiplies. The
more reason for guarding, with particular care, the door of
entrance, and using in large quantities the external antiseptic.
This, at least, has been proved, and its efficacy is not to be doubted.
We have spoken, recently, of the utility in combating grippe,
colds, epidemic maladies, by the use of antiseptic douches for the
nose and mouth, the ordinary receptacles of the most deadly
microbes. In truth, we respire at the rate of one-half liter of air
at a respiration ; this gives, moderately, 360 liters per hour, and
9,000 liters, nearly ten cubic meters, in twenty-four hours. Each
liter draws in millions of microbes. All these microbes are not
noxious, but they are often injurious on account of their number ;
hence, the necessity of killing them before an abrasion, an inflam-
mation, opens to them the door of the organism. Microbes can
enter the body through perspiration not wiped off. One can-
readily see that the need of cleanliness, and of general hygiene, is



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LY80L. 39

of Tast importance. Briefly, it is necessary to repeat that we are
constantly the objects of the attacks of these microorganisms ;
simple common sense recommends as to multiply our efforts for
defense. This defense is the rational and abundant use of anti-
septics.

Antiseptic ! the word is an easy one to speak. But antiseptics
are abundant ; at least, one reads so. We are not rich in anti-
septics suitable to handle, not dangerous, yet efficacious. Then,
too, certain antiseptics which produce good results in one case, do
not in another. An antiseptic which can be generally used is not
easy to find. Many have been in use for years, or are dangerous,
or haye lost their efficacy. It is superfluous to pass them in
review. Phenic acid, to mention the best known, is not safe to
place in the hands of everyone ; it is not neutral, it is corrosive ;
it has burned more than one person ; it has even poisoned some ;
it is, moreover, an antiseptic of only the fifth or sixth class. The
essence of Ceylon cinnamon is, differently, as powerful as phenic
acid. It kills the most resisting microbes in eight minutes after
contact, while it takes, at least, twenty-four hours to kill them
with phenic acid. In order to judge of the action of an anti-
septic, it is indispensable that onp does not content one's self with
<< hear-say" instead of experimenting with it; of cultivating the
most dangerous microbes and seeing how they act in the presence
of the antiseptic used. The best is, evidently, that which kills the
most rapidly ; when, in operating thus, it has been found that
the most efficacious substance was, unquestionably, corrosive sub-
limate. Unfortunately, corrosive sublimate is a violent poison.
Although one may use it in Very weak solutions, there is certainly
danger in introducing it into common practice. People who have
made mistakes in swallowing a solution of sublimate have died
very quickly. Thymol is costly ; boric acid is weak. If one
wishes to gain an idea of the destructive power of sublimate, of
thymol, of boric acid, we will state that with three centigrammes
of sublimate in solution, microbic development is prevented ; with
thymol, it takes fifty centigrammes ; with boric acid, 750 centi-
grammes.

After sublimate, which is rejected for general use, the power-
ful antiseptics meet in the derivations of coal-tar, in the phenols,
the various creasotes, creasol (cresylic acid), and its varieties, sali-
cylic acid, eucalyptol, naphthol, etc. By order of power, one has,
first, creasol (100 centigrammes arresting development of



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40 TRANSLATION.

bacteria); then salicylic acid (150 centigrammes arresting devel-
opment). Finally, eacalyptol (160 centigrammes), and phenol
(500 centigrammes). Commercially, on account of price, phenol
and creasol are alone obtainable. And one prefers the strongest,
i. €., creasol.

This creasol of commerce, produced actively from creasote of
coal, deprived of its phenic acid possesses, definitely, a strong
antiseptic, since it suffices in a solution of 0.30 per cent of water
to obtain an action equal to a disinfecting liquid of sublimate at
1 per 4,000. Unfortunately, creasol is insoluble in water. Now,
it is very necessary that an antiseptic should be soluble, because
water is the medium of disinfecting action ; it is everywhere ; it
brings the " deadly microbes " into contact with the tissues. In
order to utilize creasol, one must find the means of rendering it
soluble. Much research has been made in this direction. Laplace,
Frankel, Heyden, and others, have saponified bodies of the aro-
matic series by diverse alkaline bases ; but these products oxidate
in the air, lose their antiseptic power, stain the hands and instru-
ments used. There has been found a new and economical mode
of rendering creasol soluble in water. In France, this brief pro-
cess has been achieved by a society which sell this product at a
price accessible to all. This product is the famous lysol.

Chemically, they prepare the lysol of commerce by utilizing
creasol obtained by rectifying, between 195 and 205*^, the heavy
oils of coal tar. And this obtains a crude creasol, containing a
little creasol, xylcnol, gaiacol, etc. Then this crude creasol is
rectified to render it pure. It is mixed in the proportion of fifty
parts to fifty other parts of an alkali, and with fat parts. By
cooking this, a liquid is obtained, of a brown color, absolutely
soluble in water. The characteristic of this product is double :
First, its complete solubility in water ; then its constant chemical
composition. This is a fixed product whose properties are invari-
able today and tomorrow.

There remains now but the question of its power. Theoreti-
cally, it is necessary to employ twice as much of the lysol as of
creasol to obtain the same disinfection. But it is its solubility.
Always, as has been demonstrated, the lysol is found to be as
powerful as the creasol. In Germany, in fact, its usage has
become common since the researches made by M. Schottelius,
Professor at Friburg ; by M. de Gerlach, Chief of the Hygienic
Department in the Laboratory of the Institute at Wiesbaden ; bj



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LY80L. 41

Mm. Whemer, Cramer, Hanel, Hang, and others. Now, the
results are remarkable. M. de Gerlach, in operating upon the
spores of the bacteria of a carbuncle, bacteria extremely resistant,
which had not been affected by an action of fifty days of phenic
acid at 5 per 100, has observed the following facts with a solution
scarcely less strong of lysol : In an hour, development retarded ;
in twelve hours, colonies stopping growth'; in seventy-five hours^
death. This culture inoculated into a rabbit left it unharmed.
One can sum up the experiments of Mm. Gerlach and Schottelius,.
in saying that with a dose of three grammes par liter of lysol they
have assured the disinfection of the most resistant septic matters.
One is authorized in considering, on account of its strength, lysol
as ereasol rendered soluble. It is, then, right to regard the pro-
duct as a general antiseptic, actually the most powerful, the most
economical, and the most easy of access to every one.

In fact, it is established as a medicine, invariable in composi-
tion, as we have said ; it is not an irritant, contains no acid ; does
not attack the tissues, as in time does sublimate, phenic acid, and
others. It is not poisonous. Then, let it become of common use.
It always mixes easily with water. It is used in the ordinary dose
of three grammes par liter, and it can be used to five per cent*
Everything depends on the use to which it is put. The uses of
antiseptics are, in fact, very numerous. The microbe-killing power
of lysol designs it, naturally, for dressing of wounds, for cicatriza-
tions, slight abrasions, etc. In the point of view of general
hygiene, it is useful to have at hand for disinfecting pest-houses,
apartments, cabinets, spittoons, animal cars, holds of ships^
steamers, and everywhere where disinfectants are required. To
cleanse wounds, a solution is used, composed of between 0.30 to
one per cent. ; for gynecologia and like diseases, a solution of one
to three per cent, is used. For disinfecting the thousand con-
taminations^ — stables, cess-pools, moldy substances growing on
damp walls, a solution of three to five per cent, is used. In these con-
ditions, a liter of lysol, of a commercial price sufficiently small,
makes, according to the use required, from twenty to 300 liters of
disinfecting solution.

For the toilet one does not generally go beyond 0.50 to one.
This dose of lysol (thanks to the soapy properties of ereasol) has no-
irritating action ; it serves for a dentifrice, for an eye-wash, etc.
Its characteristic odor is somewhat like creasote and tar, but this
is modified for those to whom the tar smell is offensive, by adding



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42 8KLBCTI0N.

perfames, as mint, cinnamon, etc. It is most useful in the service
of newly-born infants, and for children. Finally, it is excellent
as an aid to agriculture. It destroys insects, parasitic vegetation
of plants, aphides, ants, o'idium, doryphora, etc.

We have searched for a strong manageable antiseptic, free
from danger, neither corrosive nor poisonous. We have obtained
it now, because it seems that lysol answers entirely the require-
ments ; then, let us not wait until an epidemic attacks us ; and let
us not hesitate to introduce into our homes, for constant use, this
antiseptic, that is to say, hygienic preservation.

If we have insisted a little on this subject, it is because we
believe more and more in the necessity of the antiseptic. It will
gain for us many years, many human lives ; and what great need
we have of saving ourselves from disease ! Let us defend our-
selves and our homes against the homicidal microbe !



THE SPELLING OF SOME MEDICAL WORDS.*

Bt GEORGE M. GOULD, A. M., M. D., of Philadelphia, Pa.
(From the Medical Neiva, June, 1883.)

1. Of all the languages of the civilized world, there is none that
in the most distant manner can rival the English in the ludicrous
illogicality and wretched lawlessness of its orthography. In other
languages there is a manifest philologic sanity that evidently
seeks to hold the written (or printed) word in some sort of rela-
tionship with the spoken word. But in our language the reverse
seems to be the case ; the more methods in which a single sound
can be spelled the better it seemed to please the fathers of the
iangaage. As Professor Lounsbury says : " There is nothing
more contemptible than our present spelling, unless it be the rea-
sons usually given for clinging to it."

2. The labor which this fact imposes upon the child's mind,
and upon all minds that, so far as language-learning goes, persist
in the pre-pubertic stage, is a labor that, conceived in its entirety,
is literally appalling. The German child learns in one year, and
well, what the English child learns in three, and poorly.' It is so

1. Read at the meeting of the American Medical Editors* Association, in Milwaukee,
June 5, ]803.

2. Professor March says that "it has been computed that we throw away f 15,000,000
a year paying teachers for addling the brains of our children with bad spelling, and at
least $100,000,000 more paying printers and publishers for sprinkling our books and papers
with silent letters."



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THE SPELLING OF BOMB MEDICAL WORDS. 43

tremendous a labor that even few educated men reach unconscious-
ness and ease of orthography, and for the gr,eat mass of people it
is a constant source of worry or chagrin. To a vast number of
people the secret consciousness of their orthographic failing keeps
them from the pleasure of writing and composition, or prevents
them from profitable employment. To every person that writes,
the excess of labor required by our barbaric spelling is a huge
waste of time and a heightener of the friction of life. With the
correlated barbarism of pronunciation, it is the greatest obstacle to
the spread of English as the world's great, sole tongue.

3. The foregoing facts are so incontrovertible that no one
who has even cursorily looked into philology and pedagogics has
any tendency to deny them. Equally certain is it that all of our
great students and masters of philology are entirely agreed as to
the tremendous importance of lessening the burdensome labor of
education, and the friction of life, by some approach, great or lit-
tle, toward the phonetic spelling of English words. As succinctly
stated in his preface by the learned editor of the great Century
Dictionary —

The language is struggling toward a more consistent and phonetic
spelling, and it is proper in disputed and doubtful cases to cast the
influence of the dictionary in favor of this movement, both by Its own
usage in the body of the text, and at the head of articles by the order
of forms, or the selection of the form under which the word shall be
treated.

Never has more capital been invested in similar enterprises,
and never has more philologic erudition been gathered to the ser-
vice, than in the editing and publishing of those splended lexico-
graphic monuments of American scholarship, the New Webster^
the Century^ and the Standard dictionaries. It is equally true
that in each case the most earnest desire of the men in charge of
these works has been to go to the furthest admissible limit dared
in recommending the shortening and rationalizing of the spelling
of English words. They have only stopped when and where they
thought further advance would result in a baulking, and a refusal
of the people to follow.

Words fail me to express my amazement to hear men object to
all change in the customary spelling. To be sure, they are but
few, and those who have never given the matter an hour^s thought
or study, who thus blindly cling to the fetich of custom, stolidly
resisting any change whatsoever. The changes that have been



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44 SELECTION.

made, and that have become the rule — these they willingly accept.
They have grown used to spelling music and public without a final
k, and are willing to leave off this useless second tail. (The Eng-
lish even now stick to the final k in almanac.) But their mental
forefathers as stoutly resisted the curtailing process, and their
similarly-minded children will finally accept the changes that pro-
gressive minds are now forcing on their fathers. The stupidest,
most disgusting thing in the world, is the brute conservatism that
refuses all change, good or not good, from stolid^ unreasoning
desire for things as they are. Better chorea, ay, better epilepsy
than absolute paralysis. Conservatism is the sham coyness of lin-
guistic old-maidism, the crinolin fig-leaf of philologic prudery, a
fig-leaf, too, not the result of too much, but of too little knowl-
edge — indeed, of an abysmal ignorance of thehistory of the language.

And most strange of all is such a dead-blank wall of prejudice
on the part of medical men. Their science is a progressive one ;
their life is harassed and hurried with the crush of duties and
opportunities. Every hour's experience teaches them to ignore
precedent and to cut by the shortest route to the desired end. No
body of men is more hampered, and in no calling is labor so much
thwarted as in theirs, by popular inherited prejudices, and the old
unsloughed snake-skins of quackery, of myth, and of mummery.

The vast majority of medical words have not grown out of the
old languages, either of the ancient living Greek or of the medie-
vally preserved dead Greek. When a word is desired, the modern
minter snaps out his Liddell and Scott, gets some words that best
suit his purpose, and shakes them together in his etymologic basket
until they cohere into some sort of unity, not infrequently a very
ludicrous one.

The argument most relied on by the obstructionists is the
etymologic one. But even this poor scarecrow cannot be set up
in our medical cornfields. I do not think the etymologic argument
of much force, even in the general literary language, because
already the form in a large portion of our words is altogether mis-
leading, changed, or lost, and because the vast majority of peo-
ple will and can never know anything of the etymologic rootings
of their language. But, far more important still is the fact that
with printing came the impossibility of a coinage ever being lost,
its history unrecorded, or its tiniest rootlet unpreserved.

But far and away over all is the fact that the needs and the
help of the living millions of bodies and minds present and to



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THE SPELLING OF SOME MEDICAL WORDS. 45

come outweigh linguistic and philologic considerations. Language
was made for man, not man for language.

Moreover, and this note well, despite all the literary coxcombs
and philologic old maids of Christendom, reform is inevitable.
The people, with unerring instinct, are determined to mold their
language into some better conformity to their needs. Slang is
riotously rampant, and slang is language in the making. Some
reform in spelling is as certain to come as future men and women
are certain to come, and wisdom on our part is to accept the
inevitable, and to make that inevitable as sensible as we can. As
another has said : *< The grammarian, the purist, the pemicketty-
stickler for trifles is the deadly foe of good English, rich in idioms
and racy of the soil."

All this is entirely too long an overture to a very small opera.
I wish to beg my brother- editors to accept, and to unite in asking
the profession to accept, certain tiny, innocent little changes in a
very few of the words they use. Some time ago a valued con-
tributor objected to o^r editorial suggestion that the cU at the end
of many of our adjectives was a useless length of tail that it were
desirable to lop off. He could give no reason except that
wonderful reason that it sounded better to say chemical, biological,
parasitical, etc., than to say chemic, biologic and parasitic. All
argument was useless. I asked him if we should also, in his
articles, spell scientijical, basical, thermical, albuminoidal, meso-
blastical, graphical, metrical, etc., or should we leave off the
already-dropped, old simian al.

Another valued contributor begged to be allowed to spell
hemorrhage, anesthetic, orthopedic, and the like, in the fashion of
his ancestors, t. e., with the diphthong. I asked, should we preserve
the Greek diphthong in all eases, in (ether, for example, instead of
€thery and in hundreds of cases where its retention would make his
printed page the object of laughter, even to the etymologic
sticklers. " Analogy to the dogs ! " — and, of course, logic and
argumentation also to the same animals.

After four years of careful investigation and great labor, the
American Association for the Advancement of Science has adopted
a set of rules for the spelling and pronunciation of chemic terms.
Among these rules are those advocating the dropping of the final
€ in all such words as bromid, iodid, chlorid, and the like, and also



Online LibraryJ. A. (Joel Asaph) AllenBuffalo medical journal → online text (page 5 of 78)