Electricity in the Diseases of Women, with Special Reference to the Application of Strong Currents

F. H. M.
1889 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)  
Certain Meteorological Conditions to Diseases of the Dungs and Air-passages as shown by Statis¬ tical and other evidence." The statistics in¬ cluded tens of thousands of weekly reports of sickness, and records of hundreds of thousands of deaths from phthisis and from disease of the air-passages, in this country and in other coun¬ tries. These statistics were studied in connec¬ tion with statistics of the meteorological condi¬ tions, and were found to be harmonious; and the writer considered it
more » ... iter considered it proved ' ' that the rise and fall of [phthisis and] the diseases of the air-pas¬ sages are controlled by the atmospheric tempera¬ ture, and that this is accomplished mainly through the quantity of vapor of water abstracted from the air passages." In the discussion which followed these papers, the writer expressed the opinion that this was a general law,-that if there could be obtained records of phthisis and meteorological conditions in Colorado their rela¬ tions would be found to be the same as has been found to be true-elsewhere, wherever the subject has been studied. If any one doubts this gene¬ ralization, what is needed is that the facts be recorded, in each locality respecting which there may be doubt, and that these records of facts be brought forward, that they may be studied by those of us who are interested in the subject. I wish most emphatically to indorse the plea in the article by Dr. Denison and in the editorial, for the bringing forward of facts, accurately stated by weight, measure or number so that they may be available for building up the science of tiology or of climatological therapeutics. By this mail I send you a copy of the paper containing the mortuary, morbility and meteoro¬ logical statistics which I have mentioned. need of the practitioner, viz : a modern scientific work on electricity. The rapid development and recent scientific demonstrations of this subject have rendered former authorities almost absolute, and as yet comparatively nothing has arisen to take their place. While Dr. Massey's book covers but a limited portion of this vast subject, it still is in most respects, scientific and will prove of assistance to the practitioner who is desirous of employing electricity as a therapeutic agent. But little space is occupied by the consideration of the physics of electricity proper, but the detailed experiments given in chapters III and IV are well conceived, and will do much toward clearing up this intricate subject to the minds of the uninitiated, and they should be thoroughly mastered by the practitioner who is ambitious to employ electricity intelligently. The remainder of the book is mainly a compilation from articles which have appeared from time to time in vari¬ ous medical journals during the past three years, and in most respects lacks originality save in the detail of cases. Many of the more ordinary difficulties met with by the gynaecologist, such as menorrhagia, sub-involution, hyperplasia, pelvic induration, pelvic pain-including obstructive and nervous dysmenorrhoea-uterine stenosis, intermenstrual neuralgia, uterine displacements, amenorrhea and hydrosalpinx, all are treated by the electrical means indicated, and with results which coincide with those reported by the majority of operators employing similar methods. By far the greater portion of the book is de¬ voted to a description of Apostoli's work. In chapter V. is considered the intra-uterine galvanochemical cauterization (Apostoli's operation), as employed in the treatment of fibroid tumors and chronic metritis. The different steps of the operation are clearly described, and the electrodes and appliances illustrated. It is to be regretted in this connection that the author recognizes no form of intra-uterine flexible electrodes other than the stiff platinum sound, because in conse¬ quence a greater proportion of cases of filroid tu¬ mors with tortuous canals must submit to the more dangerous operation of galvano-puncture. This subject naturally forms the most important portion of the book, and is worthy the time de¬ voted to it. A chapter is devoted to the consideration of Extra -Uterine Pregnancy, electrically treated, and one to "Contra-indications and Limitation to the use of Strong Currents." To the conservative practitioner this book of¬ fers a safe and effectual method of treatment for many difficulties which have in the past been a serious perplexity to him, while to the unscrupu¬ lous operator it should come as a grave reproach for the severe measures so often unnecessarily and unjustifiably employed, and it is to be hoped that through its influence some little may be accom¬ plished toward righting this great wrong.
doi:10.1001/jama.1889.02400960035013 fatcat:by2sucnz6fcqzo2ahnsgirs5n4