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ACEPHALOUS HERMAPHRODITE MONSTER

WM. Holt
1861 The Lancet  
SIR,—The following case occurred in my practice a few weeks ago :-Mrs. S-, a married woman, forty years of age, who had borne nine living children, five of which were abnormal presentations, for several days after the commencement of her present labour had very short, irregular pains, and I suspected another abnormal presentation. I made an examination per vaginam, and found the os uteri dilated to about the size of a sixpence. She went on day after day having short pains, but making no
more » ... t making no progress whatever. Suspecting, from her uneasy sensations, a large quantity of liquor amnii, I punctured the membranes, and discharged about a gallon of water. After this the pains came on much more regularly, and I found the feet presenting. In due time the foetus was born, acephalous. As far as I could see, the vagina appeared normal, though small, but a scrotum, with two testicles depended from the posterior part of the labia majora, and, in fact, seemed a prolongation of them. The chin was completely grown to the superior part of the chest. As regards the limbs, and in all other respects, it was a fine-looking child, but still-born. The woman herself accounts for it by being terribly frightened by a drunken man during her pregnancy. Unfortunately, I was unable to obtain the body to make a post-mortem examination. I am. Sir. vour obedient servant. The Edinburgh College of Physicians has filled its coffers from the M.R.C.S.s and other single-qualification men; the London -College of Physicians is, vainly I hope, striving to follow its bad example -in degree at least; but I trust the Society of Apothecaries (much as I dislike the name) will stir itself, and insist upon its power and authority. To possess its qualificati{)n ought, according to its present searching examination, to give a man a better standing than a Licentiate of the College of Physicians of Edinburgh, without any examination at all. SIR,—As the attention of the profession has,been much directed to the advantages of operating early for strangulated hernia, you will perhaps afford me space in your valuable columns to record a case, recently under my observation, which strongly illustrates the utility of this practice. On the 28th ult., E. G—, aged thirty nine, was admitted into the Weymouth Royal Infirmary, suffering from strangulation of a right inguinal hernia. He stated that since birth he had been the subject of rupture, for which he wore a truss, and that he had always easily reduced the tumour when it acci. dentally descended until the 27th February at three P.M., when his efforts to do so were ineffectual. Vomiting soon supervened, and was repeated several times. On the afternoon of the fol. lowing day he was seen by a surgeon, who, having tried the taxis without success, sent him to the Infirmary, where he was. admitted at eight P.M. The taxis was then again tried by my colleagues, Drs. Smith and Lithgow, as well as by myself; but notwithstanding the previous use of a warm bath and the adoption of the inverted attitude, so strongly recommended by several of your correspondents, our efforts at reduction failed. As the stethoscope indicated cardiac disease, chloroform was not given. It was then evident that operative proceedings, afforded the only. chance of cure; but, as the symptoms were. not urgent, it was agreed to defer operating till next morning., Accordingly on March 1st, at nine A.M., we performed the usual operation. There was stricture at both rings, but chiefly the internal, and it was found necessary to open the sac. From the hernia being of long standing, many of the superficial vessels jetted very freely, and three of them were ligatured. The wound having been dressed in the usual way, a morphiate was given, and the most perfect rest enjoined. Not to enter into further details, suffice it to say that without any medicine, save a few doses of morphia, and subsequently of castor oil, no peritonitis supervened. The wound.healed satisfactorily in. twelve days, and the patient recovered without an untoward: symptom. There cannot, I think, be a doubt that the happy, termination of this case arose from the early performance of the operation, only forty-two hours having elapsed from the time at which the strangulation occurred. Tam. Sir vnnr obedient servant. J. MOORHEAD, M.D., Surgeon to the Weymouth Royal Infirmary. PARISIAN MEDICAL INTELLIGENCE. (FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT.) THE meeting of the Academy of Medicine, on Tuesday last, did not present any feature of great interest.beyond the formal presentation of the newly-elected member, M. Claude Bernard, to his colleagues, and the definite admission (sanctioned by imperial decree) of the learned physiologist within the walls of the scientific medicalarena, of Paris. The numerical limitations by which the Academy is fettered are productive, of constant heart-burnings amongst our French confrères; and the truth is, that although the majority of its members are highly distinguished men, yet from time to time private friendship and favour have been instrumental in procuring the election of candidates whose qualifications were below mediocrity. I asked an hospital surgeon (a man high up in his profession) the other day, why he had never aspired to a position for which his talents and eloquence most indubitably fit him? "Oh," he answered, " because I have no time for canvassing; and, besides (here he paused for a moment as if wishing to guard what might prove an imprudent answer, and then continued,) I have a failing for !good company, and therefore prefer the Surgical Society, Where we admit none but medical men and are en famille, having no farriers nor druggists with whom we are obliged to be on affectionate terms." This was not the
doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(02)45351-2 fatcat:c7tcupaygjh5rileeky3kjqwpe