Medico-Chirurgical Society of Edinburgh

1846 BMJ (Clinical Research Edition)  
Houses for the labouring classes. In this petition, the actual condition in this respect of the dwellings of large numbers of the labouring population, and their neglect of personal cleanliness are set forth, and the causes pointed out; the injturious consequences to comfort, health, and morals, are stated; and the means of remedy indicated. It appears that at the baths and wash-houses wlhich bave been established at Liverpool by tfihe Corporation of that town, and which were opened in the
more » ... opened in the month of May, 1842, the number of those who bathed in the first three years was 41,788, and in the first nine months of the present (the fourth,) Year, ending in February, 1846, was 14,562; and that during those three vears and nine months 44,115 persons washed there upwards of a million articles. The accommodations at this establishment were,however, found to be so insufficient tomeet t4e wants of the town, that the Corporation of Liverpool are now erecting a second establishment tbere. A small establishment of baths and waolh-houses has been open in the neigbbourbood of the London Docks about eleven months, for the use of the very poor; and thouglh the accommodations there are so limited that sometimes nearly two hundred applicants have, of necessity, been refused admittance in the course of a single week, 25,123 persons have bathed, and 31,882 persons hlave washed 235,814 articles there during that period, and of those persons several hundreds have come from distances varying from four to six miles. The Committee from whom this petition has emanated, are now engaged in the erection of a model establishment (of this kind. The building is to contain about one hundred batlhs, each in a separate apartment, to ensure privacy to the bathers; about one hundred pairs of wash-tubs, separated by sufficient screens; hot closets for drying all the articles washed; and accommodation for ironing part of them. The baths are to be oftwo sorts, about four-fifths ofthem being forthe labouriag classes, and every bather is to have an ample supply of clean water. The charges at the baths for the labouring classes, including the use of one towel for every bather, are proposed to be one penny for a cold bath, and two-pence for a warm bath. I'lie charges at the other batis, including the use of two towels for every bather, are proposed to be three pence for a cold batlh, and sixpence for a warm bath. That the clharges nt the wash-house are proposed to be suich as to enable the week's washing of a labouring family to be well done, and the articles washed to be dried rapidly, and so as to ensure their thorough ventilation, and the destruetion of all vermin and infection, in about three hours for about threepence. i It i; also stated that calculations made on the basis of actual experience, show that these pro. posed charges will, when the establishment is in full work, be tiot only amply sufficient for its suipport, but will leave a suirplus at least equal to the interest of the capital sunk in its erection. Tlhus the receipts of the establishment at Liverpool, were, for the first year £159, for the second year £280, for the third year £332, and foir the first three-quarters of the current year £325, exceeding its expenses (exclusive of improvements and repairs,) during those nine nmonths, bv more than £30. With these facts before us there can be little doubt of the practicability of thae undertaking; and of the utility and exceeding benefit of the object there can be no question. As ever foremost in all matters relating to the improvement of tlhe health and social welfare of the community, this subject is especially commended to the consideration and support of the members of tke medical profession. The case was that of an infant nine months old, whose motlher had given it laudanum, "to put it to sleep" while she went out. 'Trhe laudanuin was part of a pennyworth bought for this purpose at a neighbour. ing shop. The case was first under the care of Mr. Colalian' a pupil at the Edinburgh Maternity Hospital, who, however, was not called in until seven hours after the laudanum had been swvallowed; and even then he was kept in ignorance of the fact that the poison had been given two hours later. The infant presented the usual symnptoms of poisoning with opium, and emetics of tartarizedantimony and ipecacuanha were given. Vomiting was produced and kept up by warm water; but ofcourse, after so long an interval, not with the expectation of bringing buck any of the laudanum. Thie infant at length sank into a state from which it seemed impossible to rouse it, and was then brought to the Maternity. The breathing of the child was very noisy, and the pupils were contracted to almost obliteration. Dr. Barry applied electro-galvanism, using for this purpose the apparatus made by Abraham and Danser, of Manchester. At first the mixture in the trough contained one tliirty-second part of strong sulphuric acid, the quantity of which was afterwards increased to one-sixteenth, and the pointer in the index was gradually brought round to the very strongest power. The wires were applied in turn to every part of the body, and the child vas roused by their application, and kept awake, or at least kept moving an arm or a leg, so long as they continued in contact with it. When the wires were removed, even for a few second
doi:10.1136/bmj.s1-10.24.278 fatcat:kbv34hghx5chfg262g3srl742m