ON IODINE AS A REMEDY FOR GLANDERS.

ON IODINE AS A REMEDY FOR GLANDERS.

580 upon which the experiment ON IODINE AS A REMEDY FOR GLANDERS. EDWARD By THOMPSON, Esq. Member of the Royal College of Surgeons Whitehaven, in...

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580

upon which the experiment

ON IODINE AS A

REMEDY FOR GLANDERS. EDWARD By THOMPSON, Esq. Member of the Royal College of Surgeons

Whitehaven,

in

"

London, &c. &c.

Sunt tameu

quædam

qu?edam reemedia propria

adversus

yeneca."

consequence of reading extract from the Dublin i Jozcnnul, of a fatal case of glanders in man, by Mr. Brown, to forward for publication

I AM in THE

induced, in

LANCET,

an

I,

the following remarks :About thirteen years ago, Dr. Copland drew the attention of the profession to the appearance of glanders in man, and referred to some cases which had been detailed in Rust’s Journal. Subsequently to this, Dr. Elliotson published his very important paper, in the llled. Ciciruraacul Transactions, proving the communicability of glanders from the horse to the human subject. These notices gave an interest to the inquiry, greater than when the affection was merely considered as a disease of the lower animals, and they were followed up by several important cases, occurring both here and abroad. Notwithstanding the interest excited, it is to be regretted that nothing which is practically useful in the treatment of this fatal and loathsome disease has hitherto been advanced ; every acute case, that has been recorded, having ended in death, after much suffering and distress. The consideration, therefore, of the disease has become a vital question to the medical inquirer, not only on account of the singnlarity of the disorder, but from its having resisted every remedy which has been applied to it, either to mitigate the infection or Under these circumstances the cure it. proposal of any mean, although it may be supported but by a single fact, is worthy of attention, and I think that I should be acting wrongly not to promulgate ths following .

experiment. The disease has been viewed

by

most

writers, as an affection of the schneiderian membrane, accompanied by enlargement of the glands in the neighbourhood, and an extension of the complaint, by continuity, to the lungs. In most cases, too, conununi- I cated by contagion, tubercles in various, parts characterise the complaint, and are considered by Dupuy as constituting the disease. The glandular implication and disordered condition of the absorbents, along with the frequent appearance of tuberculous matter, in this affection, led me to think, that iodine might be productive of benefit, and the result, so far as a single instance of success goes, gives proof of its power in this unkractable and fatal

disease, the

animal

was

tried

having

perfectly recovered. Having had no opportunity of conversing with veterinary surgeons, the farther trial of the remedy I have not had means of recommending, and never having seen a case in the human subject, of course my experience is but small, and by some may be thought unsatisfactory. The value of the remedy, however, will be tested by individuals whose means of trial are superior to my own, and whose peculiar province it is to attend to disease in the lower animals, as it is amongst these that the drug can be extensively employed, and a series of experiments can be instituted, stifliciently numerous to prove the emcaey, or the inutility, of this important medicine. The physiological differences which exist between the lower animals and man, militate against the accurate investigation of the action of medicines, as applicable to diseases of apparently similar nature, generally : but in a transmitted disease, the product of morbid poison, exciting, in the two, similar symptoms, when inoculated, and having an affinity to similar tissues in both, a remedy that has displayed a power in one, may be expected to evince a like power in the other, under favourable circumstances for application. "Le traitement des maladies repose principalement sur la connaissance de leur siege et de leur nature, mais il recoit souvent d’ importantes modifications de la consideration de leurs causes, marche, duree, etc. Ce ne sera toutefois que lorsque la nature des maladies nous sera connne, que nous pourrous en exposer la thérapeutique." There are some who have doubted the identity of the two diseases ; but I think that an accurate examination of the plienomena exhibited in the disease as it occurs in the horse, and in man, as detailed by unprejudiced writers, is sufficiently convincing of the similarity of the two affections, particularly as experiment has proved that glanders may be excited in the horse by inoculation of matter taken from an infected man. The symptoms certainly differ in cases which are the product of contagion simply, and in those arising from the application of the contagious matter by inoculation.- In the instances related by Drs. Berra and Fenelli in the Azttologici llfetlic(i,. for September, 182,1, and by Dr. Alexander and Mr. Brown in Hufeland’s and the Dublin Jourrala (the last writer, by-the-by, is wrong in supposing his case to be the first published one in which the symptoms of glanders were produced by simple contagion), the disease assumed a peculiarity in its march, somewhat different from that arising from inoculation; yet they are but grades of one affection, accompanied in some of them by a fever of a pestilential character, which there is little doubt modifies, occasionally, the disease. In the cases related by the Italian physicians, the peculiar fever modified the

581

complaint, so as to make the diagnosis some-affected its breath, and from the rapid prowhat difficult; but the identity was even-gress of the affection there was no expectatually fully established on indisputabletion of the brute livinglonger than a few

weeks. The intractable nature of the affecfoundation. Such considerations lead me to hope, that: tion led to the proposal of the animal being a farther trial of iodine will be found enica- destroyed, therefore the case for experiment cious in certain forms of the disease arising could not.be considered as the very best for in man, as it has proved so effective in one trial ; yet the animal is a living instance of of the worst forms of the affection in one of recovery from this dangerous affection, and the lower animals : but the investigation ofas no other drug was given during the exhiits properties in subduing the fatal progress tion of iodine, the action of the medicine of glanders, will require close and accurate was not influenced by the addition of any application, and an attention as to quantity, other. I am not so sanguine as to expect commensurate with the nature and violence that iodine will be found to be a specific in of the attack. From the singular effect the disease, yet as it has hitherto been exelicited in the experiment I am about to hibited in amode to insure its effect, I think, mention, I should be inclined to place more from the successful proof of its power refaith in iodine than in any other medicine lated above, that it deserves attention, and I yet employed; but I would suggest the ne- cannot but express a hope that the farther cessityof giving it in large and repeated trial of this active medicine (the properties doses, and to persevere in its use until its of which require yet more extensive invesaction is fully displayed. tigation) will be attended with a continuThe horse, the property of my brother-in- ance of success, shown in man. Since writing the above hasty observalaw, was seized with what was pronounced to be glanders by the farriers who attended tions, I find that Dr. Elliotson, in a case of it, several weeks before iodine was recom- chronic glanders in the human subject, has mended. The disease was then in an removed the symptoms by the injection of advanced stage, the horse having ulcera- creosote. This application is a powerful tions of the nostrils, so far as could be one, and may occasionally allay pressing observed, particularly in one, and enlarge- symptoms for a time ; but I should doubt ment of the glands under the jaws. The the power of all local remedies in radically various means employed in such affections, curing the disease. The affection is a conhad been resorted to, without ellect, and the stitutional one, as compared with the local animal, getting s’s weak as to be scarcely able disorder: the latter, perhaps, mny’be allayed to stand, was recommended to be shot. It by certain applications, but the former canw as at this advanced period that I, by chance, not be expected to be eradicated by any saw it, and thinking it a good opportunity local means, and will set up again (except, to try the power of iodine, I requested the perhaps, in very recent cases) the diseased groom to administer 150 drops of the strong action-to be followed by an aggravation of tincture, three or four times a day, in water. every painful svmptom. A great authority The iodine was given regularly for the space says, in speaking’ of the employment of local of six weeks. Not fewer than 450 drops, means merely, " No injections if you and frequently live or six hundred, were please, and, least of all, those acrimonious exhibited daily. In a few days the benefit ones which can only torture, and hasten the of the drug was evidenced, and at the end termination of the affair." Creosote, in a of seven weeks the horse was nearly well. diluted state, may clean the ulcerations, The animal is, at present, the property of and prove beneficial, but constitutional reanother person, and is considered by him to medies must be resorted to at the same be one of the best in his stable. Four years time, or no permament effect can be expecthave elapsed since the horse was affected ; ed. Iodine, from its known power of enit is now perfectly well, and there has been tering the blood, and pervading the whole no return of the complaint. circulating system (vide Dr. Cantus’s expe.. It may be asked, Was the horse really riments in Joun. de Chem. Med. xxviii.), is a glandered? Of this there does not admit a mean which, I am satisfied, ought not to be doubt. The two farriers who attended it, lost sight of in our attempts to avert the and others who pretended to a knowledge of ravages of this loathsome distemper, and, diseases of horses, were decided as to the amidst our ignorance of the true nature of nature of the disorder ; and certainly if the the disease, and its treatment, promises to symptoms laid down by Youatt, and others, become an instrument of more value than can be depended on, the animal had con- any that has been tried ; but much has to firmed glanders. Bloody viscid sanies flow- be done before this can be proved : " Car ed down and glued the nostrils, and in the on n’arrive à un resultat semblable en meleft one the membrane was studded with decine, qne par des observations jionichancerous ulcerations, as far as the eye breuses et assez rapprochées pour permetcould reach. The glands under the throat tre d’etablir facilement entre les faits des were greatly enlarged, and the animal was comparaisons propres à les réduire h leur attenuated and weak. The least motion juste valeur, et à demeler le verite an mi

582 lieu des erreurs qui naissent continuelle- no hesitation in asserting that the snake was meitt de l’inexpérience de l’observateur, de of the numerous species which is here called l’inégalité journaliere de sou aptitude, de "jararáca."* From the time of his being bitten until he l’illusion de ses seus, et difficultés inherentes a la metliode d’exploration qu’il em- reached the hospital,four hours had elapsed. On first fixing my eyes on him, his stooping ploie." posture particularly attracted attention, occasioned no doubt by his attempts to ease a poignant pain in the right inguinal glands; intense anguish was depicted in his counteCASE OF SNAKE BITE, nance ; he moaned much from racking pains SUCCESSFULLY TREATED WITH OPIUM, SULpervading his limbs, particularly those of the PHURIC ETHER, &c. right side; and there was great difficulty of the RICHARD Medical COLLIERE, Esq., breathing, and constant constriction round By Officer of the Imperial Brazilian Mining the fauces, during deglutition. Having never before seen a person poisoned by a Association, at Gongo Soco, in Brazil. snake, I cannot compare his symptoms with ON the afternoon of Saturday, May 7th, any other similar case, but I can convey a between the hours of three and four o’clock, tolerable notion of him by observing that he while reclining in my study, fatigued by a seemed suffering, as it were, under all the close and anxious attendance of fifteen severe symptoms of Asiatic cholera, when hours upon the lady of one of our mining approaching the state of collapse. Captains, confined for the first time, my at- I first made an opening into the poisoned tention was suddenly arrested by one of our part, with a small scalpel, intentionally negroes, named Matheus Mina, hastening incising a few vessels, and sufferingasmall towards my cottage. His face (familiar to stream of blood to flow for a few seconds. me above all others in this extensive esta- Into the wound thus thrown open, I poured blishment) stamped with the deepest distress, a liberal portion of Beaufoy’s concentrated induced me to meet him at the outward door. chloride of lime, in its undiluted state, and On inquiring into the cause of his apparext then simply strapped the part up with adalarm, his only, but oft-repeated reply was, hesive plaster. The wound was thus washed Cobra, Senhor! " (Snake, sir ! ) Bringing three times during the first nine hours in the him into my bed-room, myself and servant hospital, and was nevei’ afterwards interfered shewed him several specimens of snakes, with. My object in so acting was to peranxiously asking him to tell us which it fectly pnrify the foul fountain whence the resembled; his answers were incoherent and powerful poison might possibly be still unsatisfactory. In hurrying him down to streaming into a system already sufficiently the hospital I met a Brazilian, whom I be- saturated. Strongly sensible of the force sought to question him, which he did in vain, lent to absorption by a curtailed circulation, for nothing could be elicited. only a small quantity of blood was permitted On reaching the ward, wherein a bed was to issue from the parts incised. So soon as prepared for the poor fellow, he vomited he was placed in bed, he got a draught conmore than a pint of black blood. Seeing taining 30 drops of tincture of opium, one him comfortably covered in bed, after some drachm of sulphuric ether, and two drops successful and earnest efforts to calm his of essential oil of aniseed. This draught phrensied feelings, at length I obtained from was repeated twice duringthe night, when him the following facts : he, and other he obtained nearly two hours’ sleep, but, far blacks had been out in the woods, cutting from being refreshed, he awoke at six, A.-i%l., capim (grass), when he felt himself slightly with all the symptoms fearfully augmenting. I had taken particular precaution that bitten by a snake. Endeavouring to pursue and kill it, he was prevented by a dizziness this case should be as private as possible, in his eyes, almost amounting, for the mo- lest unnecessary alarm might be excited ment, to perfect privation of sight. The among our negro population; but some of bite was in the second phalanx of the fourth the inmates of the hospital making known toe of the right foot. The snake he called the circumstance to those without, the "cascavel," but this was owing to ignorance, almost all the negroes here designating every Iu the 11 Corogi,afla Brazileira," by snake possessing poisonous properties, by Padre Manoel Ayres de Cazal, there is a this general name. The cascavel is the real sentence regarding this snake, of which the rattle snake, so called from its happy habit following is a translation :-"The jararáca, of shaking its rattle before biting, thus af- whose species is the most numerous, is fatal; fording time to escape from its fatal fang; that which takes its name from its white tail and, in consequence, I have repeatedly heard is not more than a span in length, and its it called, both by slaves and Brazilians, poison hitherto has no known antidote ; the Cobra muito boa" (the very good snake). being that is bitten by it instantly falls into Having since seen snakes similar to that convulsions and bloody sweats, and dies in by which this black had been bitten, I have a short time."