A CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF THE THERAPEUTIC VALUE OF CAMPHOR

JAMES D. HEARD, RICHARD CLYDE BROOKS
1913 American Journal of the Medical Sciences  
238 heard, brooks: tiie therapeutic value of camphor parts of the musical scale, may greatly preponderate in intensity, but of which the former are alone usually of clinical interest. The quasi adventitious sounds due to sympathetic vibration of the chest wall may be damped and rendered more or less inaudible by firm pressure applied to the bell of the stethoscope. In order to thus annul the sound from mural vibrations the instrument must transmit by pure air conduction, and its chest-piece
more » ... its chest-piece must not itself sensibly take up the vibrations of the chest wall. Tiie profession has long felt the need of a more accurate knowl¬ edge in regard to the relative value of the several drugs employed as so-called "circulatory stimulants." Since this problem first occupied the minds of the writers, important contributions have been made. The present communication appears to be justified, nevertheless, because of the obscurity which still surrounds many members of the group. Thus as concerning the therapeutic value of camphor there has been so far rather more of speculation than of positive knowledge. A study of some of these drugs was contemplated by us as early as the autumn of 1909. However, the present research was directly stimulated by observation of the following case: In the spring of 1910 a relative of one of us died as the result of a widespread infection, secondary to a suppurative cholecystitis. During the last three weeks of the patient's life there were several periods of alarming circulatory breakdown, occurring during the course of a clinical auricular fibrillation. These acute seizures were apparently due to the action of the infective agents upon the myocardium and vasomotor apparatus. During the attacks, attempts were made to improve the mass movement of blood by the hypodermic administration of such substances as caffein, strychnine, and camphor. The use of camphor was followed in more than one instance by a marked temporary improvement in the character of the pulse and in the general condition of the patient. Nevertheless, the general course of the disease was downward.
doi:10.1097/00000441-191302000-00009 fatcat:eluznk6iibfpdihpp4jz2bf63u