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put away, to be returned to them when they leave, and the clothing worn by them while here to be returned as the property of the asylum ; this, I believe, would result in a saving to the District, as many who are admitted stay but a short time after receiving new suits of clothes. I would renew my recommendation for the erection of two plunge baths and wash-rooms, one for males and the other for females, as I consider it an actual necessity for the health and comfort of the inmates.
Religious services are held every Sunday afternoon for the benefit of the inmates of tbe almshouse by ladies and gentlemen of various religious associations of the District, and for the benefit of the prisoners in the old jail, by members of the Young Men's Christian Association, who use every endeavor to improve the moral condition of this unfortu. pate class of the community. The general health of the inmates is good, very little sickness originating among them. Most of the inmates of the hospital are those who are brought here in the last stage of disease, after having been discharged from other hospitals as incurable, and are sent here as a last resort, this being the only general hospital where cases of every description are received.
All coffins used for the burial of the indigent of the District are manufactured at this institution, and are furnished upon the receipt of an order from the board of health, when the ambulance is sent to convey the bodies to “potter's field” or other burying-ground, should the friends of the deceased desire it.
The number of coffins furnisbed during the term ending November 15, 1876, were 631. The ambulance is also employed in conveying sick and disabled paupers to the almshouse and to other hospitals and other charitable institutions in the District, as also to the Insane Asylum.
" The potter's field” bas been kept in as good condition as possible, and since its inclosure no bodies buried there have been disturbed or taken from the grounds. The number of burials from November 15, 1875, to November 15, 1876, was 494, of which four were removed to other cemeteries.
That portion of the main building formerly occupied by the prisoners has, since their removal to the old jail, been thoroughly cleaned, and can be used for the accommodation of the inmates of the almsbouse, should the numbers so increase as to render it necessary.
The goods furnished the asylum during the present year have been of an excellent quality, and little or no just cause of complaint has been made.
Since my last report the hospital grounds have been inclosed and the grading completed, and the new hospital then building has been finished, and is now occupied as a white female ward. We have ample accommodations at present for cases requiring medical treatment, but it will require larger buildings or additions to the old ones in the near future, as the number of patients will naturally increase with the growing population of the District.
The small-pox hospital, which is attached to the institution and situated about 1,200 feet northeast of the building, is kept in excellent condition by the nurses in charge, but owing to its close proximity to the new jail, and the danger of contagion spreading to the prisoners confined therein, should there be a large number of cases in the hospital, I recommend that a new building be erected in some much more isolated place, and the present building be disposed of. Very respectfully,
JOSEPH F. HODGSON, Intendant W. A. TIMOTHY LUBEY, Esq.,
Commissioner Washington Asylum.
November 15, 1876. SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report: The female labor of the institution has been utilized to the best advantage. While a portion of the females are engaged in making and repairing clothing for inmates of the work-house and almshouse, others are employed in washing, ironing, and general house-work. The rooms of the inmates are scrubbed daily, thus keeping them in good sanitary order. The fol. lowing articles of clothing, &c., have been made since my last report, viz: For almshouse, 64 coats, 191 pairs pants, 230 pairs drawers, 253 shirts, 148 dresses, 20 petticoats, 191 chemises, 16 aprons, 11 gowns, 32 children's suits, 263 bed-ticks, 89 sheets, 91 pillow-ticks, 101 pillowcases. For work-house, 144 coats, 226 pants, 607 shirts. Very respectfully,
M. L. HODGSON,
Matron W. A. TIMOTHY LUBEY, Esq.,
Commissioner, Washington Asylum.
OFFICE VISITING PHYSICIAN,
November 15, 1876. SIR: I respectfully submit the following annual report of the hospi. tal department of the Washington Asylum for the year ending October 31, 1876:
The number of patients under treatment November 1, 1875, was 4224 males, 18 females; admitted during the year, 543; of these 294 were males and 249 females ; 362 were colored, 181 white; number born during the year, 21–10 males, 11 females ; 19 colored, 2 white.
Discharged during the year, 393—233 males, 160 females ; deaths during the year, 98–45 males, 53 females ; number of patients under treatment during the year, 585 ; number remaining under treatment Novem. ber 1, 1876, 94.
The daily average number prescribed for at hospital is about 70, and at the old jail, or work-house, over 3, making over 1,000 prescriptions for the work-house alone. Many of these work-house patients require as much if not more care and attention than regular hospital cases, viz, victims of mania a potu, of which we had a great number, and as yet hare lost none.
It will be seen by the above statistics that the admissions are almost double the number of the preceding year, while the death-rate is very much lowered, fully 10 per cerrt., notwithstanding the fact that there were many more cases of small-pox, and some of maliguant type, ad. mitted this year.
This is easily accounted for on the ground of the present superior location of hospitals, affording more and purer air, more light, more cheerful surrounding views, good walks and pleasant grounds in which to exercise for convalescents who are able to do so, more suitable and better regulated diet, sleeping arrangements, in fact, a combination of those elements that go to make up an improved hygienic condition.
The patients realize and gratefully appreciate the great advances made to alleviate their sufferings and improving their chances for recovery. The disposition shown to improve their condition physically has most certainly elevated the moral tone of all inmates of the hospital; where formerly disturbances, bad behavior, low and immoral language were common, now such occurrences are most rare.
The wards are always kept in pure, sweet condition; patients are orderly, respectful, and well behaved. The walls are whitewashed, paint cleaned whenever needed, and any other work required to keep wards in nice order, except scouring, is done by our convalescents and nurses, without outside labor or expense.
The grounds are also regularly cleaned up, the grass cut when necessary, and anything else which may be required to keep up the attractive appearance of the place is done by the inmates of the grounds. The cooking has been done a great part of the time by a convalescent. I think we can say, not only in our opinion but in that of others who have visited the place, that the hospital grounds, orderly, neat appearance and discipline of patients will compare quite favorably with other older institutions, considering its short aspirancy for place in the roll of benevolent establishments.
We frequently have patients brought in now by their friends, who tell as they bave lately heard so much to recommend our hospital that they prefer bringing their sick to us, as they know they will be well cared for.
A significant fact and self-evident proof of the improvement in location and hygienic arrangements generally of our hospital is, that in the new situation no malignant cases have developed, while in the old building such instances were and are not rare.
One of our most serious wants is sufficient room, for we must allow each patient so many cubic feet of space or we defeat the very object which he comes to secure. In view, therefore, of this want of room I recommend that an additional ward be erected on the north side of the yard, at right angles to the two male wards, making it double the length of those already in the yard, with a division so that it may be used as two wards. This will accommodate the males for a while yet.
The colored female ward wants an addition to its length, the inmates being too close together, as plenty of space is an imperative necessity in this class of invalids, it being almost impossible to keep ventilation tborough without every advantage that improvement has devised.
I also recommend the erection of a small obstetrical ward for white women. We have already in use a small building for the reception of colored women during their confinement, and find it indispensable.
We have another growing element requiring our particular care and attention—the infantile population of the establishment. These infants are picked up on the streets, some foundlings, others whose mothers can't provide for them, of all ages, from a few days to weeks and months.
These children must have some room close at hand where they can have the physician's immediate supervision or they will be neglected. Heretofore, as they are mostly colored, we have placed them in the lying-in ward, and detailed one of the convalescents to take charge of providing the diet, such as will suit their tender age. Under our directions milk is furnished them from the hospital stores, and of course we must bave them near at hand where we can personally see this food properly prepared and not wasted.
I think the present arrangement of the hospitals and inclosure a very good one, but wanting in a few particulars. One is a division-fence be. tween the males and females, and the other is a comfortable room adjoining the office, in which the resident physician can stay and be always at hand to answer a call in the night without unnecessarily exposing himself and causing delay.
There is another matter about which I have thought a great deal, and which seems so feasible that I must recommend it, wbich is, the establishing of a pay-ward. I bave already heard enough to make me believe such an institution would be a success, and I cannot see why it should not be quite a source of revenue to be used in defraying the ex. penses of the hospital. A neat and comfortable Ballou ward, divided into three or four small apartments, is all that would be required.
The diet has been much improved; but there is still room for more improvement, and one of the first steps would be to have a nicer grade of flour, and have all the bread that we use made in the kitchen, where the rest of the cooking is done, as it is, above all, necessary to have good bread.
I wish to have, at the earliest moment, the power vested in the physi. cian of allowing a convalescent to go out of the grounds whenever, in his opinion, he is a fit subject for such liberty and will be benefited thereby.
I trust, after noticing how extended the duties of the physicians are, you will see fit to appoint a head nurse-a man sufficiently intelligent to put up some of our medicines, do some of the writing, and look after the messes, cooking of the food, &c.
A review of the year's proceedings will show a very satisfactory state of the hospital; and I must here add that its success and present effective condition are largely due to the high order of ability of our resident physician, Dr. William Faulkner, and bis indefatigable and intelligent efforts in behalf of the well-being of the place. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. M. PAGE, M. D.,
Visiting Physician. TIMOTHY LUBEY, Esq.,
Commissioner Washington Asylum.
XI.-REPORT OF THE CORONER.
Washington, D. C., November 8, 1876. GENTLEMEN : In compliance with your communication of the 6th ultimo, No. 4814, I have the honor to transmit herewith an annual report of bodies viewed and inquests held during the year ending September 30, 1876. Out of a total of 169, it will be seen that 39 are aban. doned infants, or such as have died from criminal neglect, still-births, &c. It would seem that a mother who willfully abandoned her off-spring
should be as amenable to the law as the street-brawl bomicide; unfortunately no provision exists to bring such class of perpetrators to justice. Vacant lots and sewers are generally the repository for these murdered little ones, and in view of its alarming frequency I most earnestly recommend that a fund be set apart for rewards in their detection, such fund to be distributed by the coroner, superintendent of police, or such other officer as it may be deemed wise to select. The board of health now employs a medical sanitary superintendent, whose returns no doubt would swell the number of these cases. The salary of this officer, I am informed, is $1,500 a year, his principal duty being to inquire into the cause of death of those who were not attended by a physician, and to give a certificate accordingly. There may be no sus. picion of crime in the great majority of such cases, but the practice is necessarily imperfect and conflicting, no post-mortem examination being erer made, and, of course, the cause of death, to a great extent, is purely conjectural.
I would call your attention to another subject, which, with the growth of the city, is more and more felt daily. It often happens that persons are found dead in the streets and elsewhere, without any clew as to their identity. Many are strangers, and the rule hitherto has been to convey them, at great inconvenience, to the nearest station-house, where they can remain but a short time, depending altogether upon the season, when they are buried perhaps in “potter's field,” all opportunity for identification being thereby lost. In view of this state of affairs, I respectfully recommend the establishment of a “morgue” in some accessible part of the city, and an appropriation for its management, the details of which will be gladly submitted, if favorably considered. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. C. PATTERSON,
Coroner. Hon. COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
CORONER'S OFFICE, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,
Washington, D. O., November 10, 1876. GENTLEMEN: In compliance with your request of the 6th ultimo, (No. 4814,) I have the honor to submit the following estimate of sums required for this office during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1878: Salary of coroner...
$1,800 Contingent expenses, including transportation of dead bodies, post-mortem examinations, stationery, &c.
700 Total Very respectfully,
D. C. PATTERSON,
Coroner. Hon. COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.