Tuberculosis : a demographic analysis and social study of admissions to a children's sanatorium (1936-1954) in Stannington, Northumberland
This study analyses the data from medical records from a former tuberculous sanatorium for children at Stannington, Morpeth, Northumberland. It focuses on the demographic profile of the sanatorium and also examines the changes in therapy that occurred between 1937 and 1953. The objective of the study was to understand the patterning of tuberculosis in the sanatorium by considering the differences between male and female patients, ages affected, and the socio-economic backgrounds of patients from a sample of patient records taken from pre- and post-antibiotic eras, pre- and post-Second World War, and pre- and post-NHS years. 1,897 patient records were utilized in this study, all held at the Northumberland Record Office at Morpeth. This study was followed in accordance to the limitations given by the Medical Ethics Committee which was to ensure that patient confidentiality would be maintained. A limited database is included with this reasearch, but a complete database will be held in the future at the Northumberland Health Authority, in Morpeth. Overall more females than males were admitted to the sanatorium and all patients from various types of tuberculosis. The majority of the children (over 60%) were suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis, but there were a large number also suffering from tuberculosis of the bones and joints (230 cases or 12%). Most of the children came from poor backgrounds and originated from the Newcastle and Gateshead areas. The introduction of chemotherapy, the end of the Second World War and the implementation of the NHS did not have a great effect on who was being treated at the sanatorium. In conclusion these records hold a wealth of information that may help build an epidemiological model of tuberculosis in the North-East of England. Future work on the records is suggested and limitations of the research outlined.