Physicians and Patients
BMJ (Clinical Research Edition)
May 8, i88o.] THE BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL 717 medicated water; just as some coughs are relieved by sedatives, others by stimulants. Whatever Professor Lister's teaching to his students may be, from his published communications I am inclined to infer that he pays little attention to constitutional conditions. If such be the case, his pupils, as practitioners, will soon find themselves in trouble. No one knows so well as an observant general practitioner the value of attention to minute details,
... to minute details, which prevent him from erring in prognosis and in treatment. Professor Spence's statistics, as I can testify, prove the excellent results to be attained by so-termed " simple" dressings after surgical operations; and, though the percentages thus obtained are, when taken as a whole (that is, irrespectively of constitutional conditions and like circumstances), not seemingly so good as those afforded by the Listerian method, still they indicate the importance of attention to other points than merely the wound. Listerism has conferred a most valuable boon on surgery by proving the importance of cleantliness and r-est in the treatment of wounds; but to preach this method as a panacea against pyoemia, septiceemia, and erysipelas, is to reduce the art of surgery to a low level.