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uniformly fell into this opinion. But as they wanted instru- ments, their observations had a confined range, were vaguely made, and consequently indeterminate. In their details the seasons are distinguished as very hot, dry, cold, or wet: the summers are described as unusually cold, or oppressive from hcat; the winters are characterized by the long or short duration of frost. It was not possible to show the precise degree of any of these. From the want of metcorological records, it is still disputed what changes have taken place in the climate of the British islands. If we were to admit the statements of some of our old historians, who, in pages of flowery cloquence, describe the genial warmth of the British vallies, where even the vine flourished with luxuriance, and produced the richest grapes, it must be allowed that the temperatare of this country has been considerably lowered. But an observation has been made by an ingenious naturalist (p. 97 of this Number), from a nearly demonstrable fact, that in soine very early period, these regions, the ultima thule of the Romans, were much colder than at present. If in these early periods it had been possible to have kept correct registers of the weather, and such registers had been continued from age to age, they would, it is probable, have afforded data explaining operations of the atmosphere upon animal life, which now remain in obscurity. Let us bear in mind that we possess the means of delivering down to future ages meteorological facts, which may prevent our successors experiencing difficulties with regard to the present which we now feel of the past time.
Of all the diseases which appear to be diffused by the at. mospherical median, the epidemical catarrh, under the popular term Influenza, has the strongest character, and the widest range. If we could know the exact state of the atmosphere, in all its bearings, of 1510, the carliest recorder! instance of this epidemic, and in the subsequent times of its recurrence in 1557, 1580, 1587, 1591, 1675, 1709, 1733, 1743, 1762, 1767, 1775, and 1782, there would be a probability of arriving at some principle explanatory of its cause, and of its connection with or dependence on some state of the air. These observations have been suggested by the preceding statement of Dr. Pole, the correctness of whicle we cannot doubt; and to its utility we are perfectly alive. As far, however, as these meteorological statenents regard the practice of medicine, we will suggest that they would be greatly improved by adding to them a column, containing a register of the prevailing diseases, or such trains of morbid actions as constitute epidemics, in cach year or sublivision of the year. (No. 144.)
- To the naturalist, as well as the physicián, it wonld render these registers more distinct and perspicuous, if the particular kinds of instruments employed were described. Ed.
Theoretical Suggestions for the Improvement of Practical iiii
Surgery. . .. i (Pbil. Magazine.)
as iTuni Isti) IN that part of the operation of amputation when the bone is to be sawed through, it appears that a steady support to the bone would materially facilitate and secure the correct action of the saw : In the present mode, when the only. means of steadying the bone and resistance to the action of the saw is made by the grasp and manual force of frequently agitated assistants, the difficulty of dividing the bone, without splintering and ruggedness, is very considerable. Mightmot a perpendicular prop from the floor, with a semicircular hollow to receive the bone, be of great effect in rendering it steady: When a retractor is used, might not such prop form part of that instrument ? Carpenters, when they saw timber, always take care to make it steady previous to the application of the, saw; why should not the same mode be used when sawing the bones of the arm or leg? The soft parts cguld not be injured by such a method; as by the present mode of amputation, by double incision, a considerable length of bone, is bared before the saw is used, and why might not the proposed support be applied to that part
2. In: the operation of trepaning the skull, when the scalp is sufficiently removed, it is essential to remove just so much of the pericranium and no more, as the head of the trephine will include ; because the cranium, when denuded of its pericranium, will, like other bones denuded of their periosteum,' grow caniqus. This part of the operation is now generally performed by an instrument called a raspatory, or hy, scraping the skull with a small scalpel. Would not this be performed inuch more complete by having a head adjusted to the trephine handle, precisely the dimensions of the serrated head, and which head would have a circular cutting edge, with a species of concave plane or scraper within it? One turn of such an instrument, which any person could easily contrive, but which is difficult to describe by words, would completely remove the exact portion of pericranium and no more. 3d. Were surgeons to make themselves acquainted with the
0. 03 implements used in different mechanical professiopis, it is pos
sible some valuable additions might be made to the present instruments of surgery. They should likewise observe with & professional eye, the various mechanical improvements which are daily taking place. 'Miglit not the circular sa iv be introduced in some opérations? Small circular saws, cutters, or wheels with toothed edges of different sizes and thickness, "might perhaps be used with effect in insulating and removing the depressed angalar pieces of bone which occur in fractures of the skull. Wihen the trephine is admissible, a circular cutter applied to the edge of the fracture might, if used with proper precaution, cut away the bone with safety, and make a space sufficient to admit the elevator. Such a cutter might be turned by the hand, as great velocity would be dangerous. "A method could easily be contrived to apply such an instrument with the requisite steadiness to the parti
Ath. The centre point of the trephine necessarily protrudes beyond its teeth ; in consequence of which, when the mer. perienced operator neglects too long to remove it, the most serious effects are sure to follow.?? Might not this be easily prevented by having a shoulder, as mechanics term itto surround the point, Just so far down from the extremity of the point, as to permit the saw to fix itself, and no more ?!
5th. Would not a' contrivance be useful, in trepanning the skull, to fix the head in the most favourable posture?
6th. The best sliape for the points of one (lescription of piereing instruments has never yet been exactly ascertained; and it is certainly a question of considerable inportance. Those piercing instruments are meant, where breadth is requisite immediately on insertion for, as to common needles, and other small instruments merely for piercing, it is evident the more acute their points are made, the better. In some instruments, however, is where à point is merely necessary, for their insertion, "Wien chat point is much pros longed beyond the eyicient part of the instrument, it becomes injurious : What point will suit such an instrument best! Išlit well, ascertained tirat the drillsoroslicar: point is the most advantagedug ? It the polittormen acute angle, slopea to, one side, would it not uns wer as well? What is the proper angle for suel a poiulpb Mechlinios pierce brass, copper and steel With drills of different shapes : May not there be an appropriate point for piereing animal membranes ? The French discovered by experiments (fatal experiments 'that the descending blīde' of the guillotine cut best when sloped to a certain angle. However confident may be our opinion, experiment should always be bad recourse to, when possible and in satisfying the present doubts, it is very possible." An apparatus might casily be
contriyed for the purpose. All that is requisite is, a piece of brass, about four inches long and two inches square, supported by two or more feet, and perforated longitudinally, to admit a thick steel pin, which pin is to be fitted to the perforation in the brass, so as to move very freely, and to exceed the brass about two inches or more in length. On the upper end of this pin, a small flat piece of brass should be fixed, capable of bolding weights"; and in the lower end, a hole made, into which the different shaped points on which we are desirous to make experiments are to be fixed, similarly to the shifting feet of common compasses. Immediately below this pin should be placed a species of drum, consisting of a small box, with bladder or other elastic substance stretched over it to imitate the animal tunics. Now it is evident, that by placing different weights on the upper end of the ping until the point experimentingnon spierce the stretchel bladder, may be exactly appreciated the comparative advantage of the different kinds of point. 191iqeunus's.
7th. The operation ofn douching frequently fails, from the cathract or opake crystalline lens being of a soft consistency; which the couching needle, instead of depressing, passes through and divides. If the broad part, which is frequently used in depressionz were made concave so as to fit the convex edge of the lens, might it not in some degree remedy this evil ? jopa 3310 is it!A OTA MST
iloni 8th. Considering that the majority of calculi in the blad. der are more or less splerical, it appears that the forceps now uscd in lithotomy is not of the most advantageons construction. By each side of the beak of the usual forceps being concave, with an oval hole at the bottom of the concas vity, similar to the forceps once used in extracting polypi, the ledges of which-hole, and the sides of the concavity, night have teeth, Would it not be more likely to lay bold of even an irregularly spherical calculus than the forceps at present used, with toothed beaks and flat sides?; and which seems better contrived for crushing a soft calculus to pieces, than for holding it fast and withdrawing it whole. :
9th, Another kind of forceps for extracting the stone: may be suggested. ... Suppose a forceps with the beaks: formed of two narrow elliptical rims, jointed sb as in some degree, by the pressure upon a calculus, to conform them?' selves to its size. To the edges of these rims attach a piece. of linen or leather, forming to each beak , a small purse or sack is When these forceps should be closed upon a calculus in the least spherical, the steel rims wouid extend to let it pass, and it would then be completely surrounded. The advantages of these forceps would be, that the calculus
could not escape ; and the bulk to be withdrawn-throngh the wound, would be very little more than the exact bulk of the calculus. '
. .' ,' ') i Pins ,
A warm temperature of the air, at any degree of density of the atmosphere, will retaiu' a greater portion of water in a state of chemical combination, than a cold temperature of the air at a similar degree of density i of the atmosphere. Hence we may account for the almost constante daytstuber of: the lower stratum of the atmosphere during thosUMMER se adi SON, and the almost constant moist state of the lower stratum of the atmosphere during the wİNTRIB SEASONI, the fairy howuj ever, being sometimes sufficiently dense, as in the clear wenther which accompanies a freezing atmosphere, do retaisnie water in a state of bhemical combination, potívithstanding them diminution of temperature.l. s ist ! L esbivib bas dzuia
The same circumstance acoounts likewisen foxzdho different states, with respect to moisture and driznass, 061 thdt middle ) seasons, viz. SPRING AND AUTUMN, accordingly as theses participate in their nature more or less of either of the former seasons ; observing that, cæteris panibrosz there isyaore rain audo misty weather during) AJUTUMN dian, siya dkg , in, cousewir quenga of the greater quantity of watebi hiok has beenirdised into the atmosphere during the SUMMER than the WIN LEROS S&AŞONXT 1281129 vitru 9900 qooo1 o Jo stiliun., eiti ya
All the circnmstances I have Jimloocasioni tontention, det pending upon the greaterop less density, and the higher and loroes degrees of temperaturo bf thelatnyos pirrezzare exem-0 plied by the tivo lfollositi og fasiliarlexperiments : L 40 tll 29.7
In the first instancr, by meals of pwoping cast of a glass, receiver (containing aicapparently dry and profectly trånga in parant) a certain portion of the air it contribs, wloon the airbeing tarefied deposits a certain portiori of the wątur-it-origi nally contained in chemical comihinutión inaclpady vapour, whicks upon re-adın ission of the air, iis re-absorbeil, and in the sucond instance, by abstracting heat fron a pluss vessel containing atmosplerical air, and again raitoring the heat. The latter direuinstance is likewise instanced,Inutdrally, by what commonly happens in the course of a hot sumer's day, .. partidularly when the ground bas become very moist by previous rain; the vapour ascending visibly in the morning,