E. H. Sieveking
1853 BMJ (Clinical Research Edition)  
PHN term tubercle is synonymous, as we all know, with nodule, and does not in itself imply any peculiar constituents. Usage has, however, limited the application of the denomination to a certain form of deposit, which we meet with but too frequently in the cadaveric inspections which we are allowed to make, and which, at all ages of life, is a source of danger to the individual, and of serious consideration to the medical practitioner. There is no necessity for urging the importance of the
more » ... ortance of the subject; but it is sometimes useful to bring a familiar fact before our eyes in a form in which we are not in the habit of seeing it. Thus, we find, with regard to the frequency of tubercular disease, by striking an average of ten weeks taken at random in the Registrar-General's Report for 1851, that it ranks second in mortality of all the causes which the returns specify. Zymotic diseases stand first; tubercular maladies follow in their wake; diseases of the lungs and of the brain respectively occupy the third and fourth position. The exact numbers for the ten weeks are as follows:-Mortality from zymotic diseases, 19,914 " " tubercular diseases, 18,393 " " cerebral diseases, 12,068 ,pulmonary diseases, 15,475 But we all know that individuals are frequently carried off by diseases to which a name is applied that does not indicate any tubercular affection; while the scalpel exhibits to us lesions sufficiently indicative of tubercle having been sown, or of such a taint having existed in the circulating fluid as to produce that peculiar debilitating effect which renders treatment ineffectual, which, under more favourable circumstances, might have saved the patient. So far, then, from diminishing the Registrar-General's ratio, or rather
doi:10.1136/bmj.s3-1.21.451 fatcat:jf27ieu235arnoyuv4dnq5sh3y