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Title: Some observations on an epidemic of smallpox
Author: Robertson, John Keith Alexander
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1905
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In the winter and spring of 1903 -1904 there was in Greenock an Epidemic of Smallpox which smouldered in the heart of - the town till the 9th of February 1904, when it suddenly took up the most alarming activity, testing and straining to the utmost th Hospital accomodation, the Medical Officer of Health, Sanitary Inspector, his office staff and the members of the Health Committee, only sinking to comparative mildness about the end of April, and not leaving the community till the 15th of July, when the last case was dismissed from Hospital and the building closed. It is on this epidemic, and my experiences in it that I base the observations and remarks which follow. I propose to give at first a very short sketch of the history of the epidemic, showing in chart fo at what period the wave was greatest, and what steps were taken to treat those affected, and safeguard the unaffected. Then I shall describe the Smallpox Hospital at Craigieknowes, both the old and permanent buildings and the new or temporary erections, mentioning their good and bad features, and what amount and kind of accommodation seemed to me to be required in a Smallpox Hospital. How cases were admitted; how their clothes were dealt with; how their friends were acquainted with their progress and the method of dismissal and of burial, will each be dealt with in their sequence. Coming then to the nature of the actual cases, the questions which will present themselves and be handled will be such as the social conditions of those affected, the probable source of infection, the nature of the onset or sickening, the number of says between the onset and the appearance of the eruption, and where the eruption made its first appearance. As points of less importance, bu of some interest, I shall give statistics on how long cases remained at home, amongst their people after the appearance of the rash; and on the time taken by medical practitioners to make their diagnosis, counting the number of days either from the date of the appearance of the rash, where the medical attend ant had been in attendance before its appearance, or from the date of his first seeing the case after the appearance of the eruption. I shall then go into the matter of the general characters of the eruptions I saw during my residence in the Hospital, their course, and method of "drying" and "cleaning"; into our methods temperature subjects. rashes will of treatment; into the question of the in smallpox, complications and such like Notes on a few cases showing initial follow these. The question of splenic enlargement is one on which I made frequent and careful observations, and of these I shall give my finding. The discussion of unvaccinated cases, vaccinated cases, concurrent vaccination and variola, cases which had suffered from a previous attack of the smallpox, and of fatal cases, will next be taken up. After that I purpose giving some notes of peculiar and interesting cases, and in that way to bring to a this thesis, which is written entirely on what I have personally seen,investigated, experienced thought and done in the few months during which I acted as House Physician to the Greenock Smallpox Hospital, at Craigieknowes, under the late Dr James Wallace who was at that time the Medical Officer of Health to the Burgh.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (M.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available