A Needle in the Heart
John G. Meachem
Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
withstanding it is the best Act of any State and is as ably enforced as any of the various State Medical Acts. The present board have held seven quarterly meetings, at which eighty-six physicians have applied to be examined. Of this number six were refused admission to the class, not having taken three full courses of medical lectures of six months duration each. Of the eighty entering the various examinations fifty-one were licensed. Some of this number underwent several quarterly examinations
... before being suc¬ cessful. Twenty-nine were rejected, not possess¬ ing the knowledge of Medicine required by the board. Of those who passed, forty-nine are Reg¬ ulars and two Homoeopaths. Of those failing to pass the examination, eighteen were Regulars, eight were Homoeopathic, and only three were eclectic physicians. Those passing the examina¬ tions of the board were mostly graduates of Mc-Gill, Harvard, Chicago Medical, and the Uni¬ versity of Michigan, Students who were gradu¬ ates of the two-term schools and those having sessions of less than six months duration, are of course prohibited the privilege of practice in the State. Journal, by Sara A. Kime, M.D., "The Migration of a Needle," calls to my mind a case that came under my own observation about twenty\x=req-\ eight years ago, in the village of Warsaw, Western New York, where I was then practicing. I was called to attend Mr. T., \l=ae\t,20 years, who for many weeks had been suffering severe pain in the region of the heart, attended with violent palpitation upon making any considerable exertion. Not a moment passed, unless he was asleep, that he was not tormented with an indescribably oppressed feeling about the chest. The pulse was somewhat accelerated and irregular. I had the clothing removed from the chest, so that I could make a thorough examination by inspection, as well as by auscultation and percussion, and while passing my hand over the heart to ascertain the force of its impulse, I felt a little hardened elevation. It was not visible when looking at the chest, but it could be readily felt with the finger, or the flat surface of the hand pressed gently upon it, and moved upwards and downwards. With a bistoury I incised the skin directly over it, and with a pair of forceps removed an ordi¬ nary sewing needle an inch and a-half in length, All the unpleasant symptoms very soon subsi¬ ded, and in a week or two my patient was quite as well as he had ever been. From the location of the needle, and the attend-ing symptoms, I was quite sure it had, for a time, found a resting place in the very substance of the heart itself.