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breast, which seems as if it would take their life away, if it were to increase or to continue : the moment they stand still, all this uneasiness vanishes. In all other respects the patients are at the beginning of this disorder perfe&tly well, and in partimular have no shortness of breath, from which it is totally different.
We shall only add, that, after it has continued to affe&t a person in this manner for some time, it will become more obe itinate, and will not cease so readily upon standing still ;- that it will now come on, not only when the person is walking, but when he is in bed, and will at length oblige him to rise every
night for many months together; --that fome have been thus -harrassed by it near twenty years; and that at lalt it kills the patient suddenly. From a consideration of the circumstances attending it, the Author believes it to be of the convulsive kind, and that it is probably sometimes accompanius with an ulcer. Neither bleeding or any other evacuations appear to be of any service; but opiates, as in other spasmodic disorders, give very sensible relief; enabling those to keep their bed till morning, who had been forced to rise and sit up two or three hours every night, for several months. Article VII. Of the Colica Pistonum. By R. Warren, M. D.
Fellow of the College of Physicians, F.R. S. and S. A. and
In this paper is contained an accurate and minute account of the sympioms attending and consequent to this terrible disorder, which the Author confiders, and treats, as being of the spalmodic kind, and accordingly lays the principal stress on opiates, in the cure of it. He condemns the use of vomits, which indeed procure a temporary relief, and seem to be indicated by the immense quantity of green and discoloured matter repeatedly th own up by them, but actually, by their irritation, promote a fucceffive flux of this porraceous bile ; from the repeated evacuation of which the practitioner flatters himself that he is removing an off nsive matter, while in fact he is only soliciting it into the stomach, and, by the stimulus of the emetic, increaling the difs. der. He equally disapproves the use of strong cathartics, and of stimulating glyfters, which tend to increale the Itricture and spalm of the bowels.
His method of cure chiefly consists in first cleansing the ftomach with two or three draughts of chamomile tea. After which he exhibits an opiate every two or three hours till the pain is abated. When the pain and sickness return, as they usually do, the chamomile tea and opium are repeated as before. This course is to be pursued till the third, fourth, or fifth day, or till the pain and spasms have been removed by the opium, and the tension of the abdomen is gone. Then, and not before,
purging purging medicines are to be exhibited; and of these he has als ways found the gentleft, such as the fal cathartic. or the infusion of senna, taken in moderate doses, and repeated- every two hours, to be the most efficacious.
The cause of this terrible disorder has been the subject of much controversy. The Author does not discuss this subject; but at the end of the article he gives an account of this disease having attacked thirty-two persons, in the year 1752, in the late Duke of Newcastle's family, then residing at Hanover; after their having used, as their common drink, a small white wine that had been adulterated with some of the calces of lead.' One died; all the rest were cured by a method nearly similar to that recommended in this article. Five of them have since died of other complaints. Twenty-six are still alive; and only one of the whole number has heen rendered paralytic by it. Article VIII. The History and Cure of a Difficulty in Deglutition
of long Continuance, arising from a spasmodic Affection of the Oelophagus. By Thomas Percival, M. D. F.R.S.
This case is nearly of che fame nature with that described by Dr. Munckley in the first volume of these Transactions. A description of the disease may be seen in our 39th vol. July 1768, page 36. Some ingenious reflections are here added on the nature of this dreadful disease, and on the most probable means of relieving it. To prevent the patient's being starved to death, in consequence of the total obstruction of deglutition, the Author, besides the use of nourishing glysters, recommends the bathing his feet, hands, and arms, and occasionally his whole body, in new milk, broth, or other nutritive fluids : observing that the absorption by the lymphatics of the skin is very considerable ; for that it has been found, by experiment, that one of the hands, after being well chafed, will imbibe, in a quarter of an hour, near an ounce and a half of warm water, Article IX. On Human Calculi ; sewing them to be of very different kinds. By Ambrose Dawson, M. D. Fellow of the College of Physicians.
Though the Author of this paper does not mean to throw difficulties or discouragements in the way of those who are in search of a solvent of the human calculus, the experiments related in it are almost sufficient to make the most fanguine despair of accomplishing that purpose. Among the many well known difficulties attending this attempt, it is not the least, that different calculi vary greatly in their properties, or in their relation to solvents, as well as in their external appearance : ro that some which the Author found would yield to an alcaline menftruum, would not be affected by an acid one, and vice verfa; while there is reason to fear that there are others that will too powerfully resist the action of both.. From his expe
riments it appears highly proper, before we undertake the cure of the human calculus by a folvent, that an attempt should first be made to discover the nature of the stone with which the patient is amicted, by making experiments on the fragments which may be cast off from it with the urine, and observing the effects of an acid or alcaline menftruum upon them. To use either of these improperly, he observes, will at least be barrafling the patient to no purpose, and may be prejudicial to him. Article X. Of the Diseases of the Liver. By William Heberden,
M. D. F.R.S. This effay contains several valuable remarks, both with regard to the physiology and the cure of biliary concretions, and other diseases of the liver and gall ducts.
Article XI. Of the Nettle-rah. By the fame. : Few medical writers have condescended to treat of this anomalous and troublesome complaint, the nature and cause of which appear not to be fully understood. The Author here supplies that defect, as far as he has been enabled to do it, by the observations which he has made upon it in the course of his practice.
Article XIII. A Letter to Dr. Adee, from Dr. Lysons. This letter contains several cases, selected from many others, tending to evince the efficacy of a decoction of the inner bark of the common elm, in the cure of various cutaneous diseases. Article XIV. An Account of the noxious Effects of some Fungi.
By W. Heberden. Little has yet been done to distinguish those particular species of fungi, which have a singular power of greatly disordering the human body, from others that are wholesome and innoxious; though it is a matter of very general interest, as some of them are lo frequently used in our diet. A man and his wife, within five minutes after having eaten fome supposed champignons, were most violently affected. The latter particularly totally lost her voice and senses, and was alternately either stupid, or so furious that it was necessary she should be held. The man was relieved in consequence of the immediate exhibition of an emetic, which could not, in a sufficient quantity, be adminiftered to the woman, who accordingly felt some of the effe&ts of this poison for a month afterwards. These fungi being shewn to Mr. Hudson, the ingenious Author of Flora Anglica, he perceived that they were of two kinds; the first of which he judged to be, Fungus parvis pediculo oblongo, pileolo hemispherico, ex albido luteus; and the other, Fungus minimus e cinereo albicans, tenui & prælongo pediculo, paucis fubtus ftriis, of Ray's fynoptis. Whether one or both of the produced these violent effects, must be left to future experience.
It appears from this narrative that these fungi are not of an acrimonious nature, and that accordingly no good can be expected from the administering to those who have eaten them oils or fat broths, which are properly employed for the relief of infiammatory symptoms; but that they contain such a poison as disturbs the functions usually ascribed to the nerves. A scruple of white vitriol, the most active of all vomits, repeated two or three times, appeared to the Author to be the best in the prefent case to route the ftupefied patients, as well as to bring up as much of the poison as still remained in the stomach. Article XVI. An Account of an improved Method of preparing
Magnesia Alba. By Thomas Henry, Apothecary at Manchester.
This useful medicine, .as sold in the shops, is frequently ex. tremely coarse and ill prepared, and, which is worse, sophisticated with chalk and other fubftances, that differ greatly in their properties from true magnesia. The Author has even seen it adulterated with lime ;-a fraud, as he observes, of very dangerous tendency. The preparation of this substance is confined to a few persons, who keep their method secret. • The Author availing himself of some hints which he obtained of the process used by one of the most celebrated preparers of it, at length, after repeated trials, produced magnesia cqually pure, white, tasteless, light, and impalpable, with that of Mr. Glass,' and in one respect even superior to it. He here disinterestedly communicates his process, which is an improvement of that given by Dr. Black, in his excellent paper, containing the chemical history of this substance, in the second volume of the Physical and Literary Observations of the Society at Edinburgh. One of the principal articles of improvement in the Author's process confifts in his immediately throwing the coagulum, formed on the mixing together the saturated folutions of Eplom falts and of pot-ashes, into an extremely large quantity of boiling water; by which means the vitriolated tartar, produced by the union of the alcali of the pot-ash with the vitriolic acid in the fal cartharticus, is more effectually diffolved, and its concretion prevented, than by a dozen washings in hot water.-- There are, however, some other circumstances here noticed, that are absolutely necefiary to be attended to, in order to insure the success of this delicate operation. Article XVII. Several extraordinary Infances of the Cure of the
Dropsy. _Collected and communicated by George Baker, M. D. F. R. S. and of the College of Physicians, and Physician in Ordinary to her Majeity.
In some diseases the most orthodox and rigid practitioners have been induced to relax from their principles, in gratifying the strong defires of their patients for forbidden subítances;
considering these cravings, if not evidently the mere effe&ts of caprice, or of a depraved imagination, as a kind of inftin&ire Jongings, by which nature points out, in particular cafes and constitutions, a grateful, and, at the same time, effectual method of cure. In the dropfy however, the natural defire for drink, although generally strong, 'uniform, and unequivocal, has been hitherto almost universally regarded as a deceitful appetite, leading to certain danger and destruction. Nevertheless, the good effects of an occasional indulgence of the appetite, even in this disease, and to the most unbounded extent, have been lately exemplified in some instances, here related, which have occurred within a small space of time, and nearly in the fame neighbourhood. We Thall extract the subliance of the first of them, as a specimen of the rest.
A farmer at Ermington in Devonshire, near 70 years of age, had a confirmed ascites, which had relifted the power of various medicines. Apparently in the last stage of this distemper, he determined to drink large quantities of cold water, probably with a design to put a speedy end to his misery. In pursuance of this resolution he drank three quarts daily during a fortnight; at the end of which the symptoms were all aggravated, and immediate death seemed impending. Perlifting however in this course,' in a few days afterwards an immoderate quantity of water was evacuated both by fool and urine, but chiefly by the Jatter. The discharge having continued near a week, he began to recover, and was very soon intirely freed from his disease, of which he never had a return;' but four years afterwards died of a totally different disease-an inflammatory fever.
This case is followed by four other histories, the fubjects of which were cured by having recourse to the fame desperate remedy. The collector of these cases does not undertake to draw any conclusions from them. Mr. Geach of Plymouth, who communicates the third of these fingular histories, declares that for some years past he has not with-held drink from his dropcal patients; and Mr. Mudge of the fame place, at the close of the fourth, observes that, in making an experiment of this kind, it is advisable to indulge ihe patient to the utmost extent of his appetite; adding, that a limnited permillion may be pernicious : whereas large and repeated draughts may, by means of their weight, carry themselves off, and perhaps the disease along with them. Article XVIII. The Case of Mr. Thomas Wood, a Miller, of Billericay, in the County of Elix. Communicated by the Same.
The annals of phyfic do not, we believe, furnish fuch an inftance of the salutary effects of temperance, or of so strict and undeviating an adherence to a system of the most rigid abfte. miousness, as that contained in this article. The subject of it,