Page:Alcohol, a Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine.djvu/257

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249
ALCOHOL AS A MEDICINE.


Hence the mortality has been just 2.6 per cent. This, I think it will be admitted, is a low mortality, although it is possible it may be even lower when the cases are treated in a permanent hospital about to be erected.

"It may be interesting to state that 4 of the cases died on the third day after admission; 1 on the fourth; 1 on the sixth; 1 on the tenth, with pneumonia; 1 on the thirteenth; 1 on the fifteenth; 1 on the sixteenth; 1 on the eighteenth; 1 on the thirty-sixth, with nephritis and pleuropneumonia; and 1 on the forty-sixth, with otitis and meningitis.

"All the cases have been treated without alcohol either as food or drug, although many have been of great severity with various complications. It is certain that the absence of alcohol has not been detrimental, since the mortality is less than three-fourths of that of the mortality among all notified cases in England and Wales. I am bound to say that it is my firm conviction that had alcohol been given in the usual fashion, the death-rate would have been higher. Cases have been admitted to which alcohol has been given previous to admission, apparently with harm, as they have improved without it. One case was particularly noticeable in this respect. A child, aged 6, had had a good deal of whisky, and was supposed to be dying when admitted on the fourth day of the disease, so that the doctor who had seen it was surprised, when he called the following day to inquire, to find it was still alive. Without a drop of alcohol it began to improve and made a good recovery. I may say that delirium is very rare, even in the worst cases treated non-alcoholically."

Dr. Norman Kerr says :—

"In my paper on 'The Medical Administration of Alcohol,' read to the section of medicine at the Sheffield meeting in 1876, I cited several medical testimonies in favor of non-alcoholic treatment of fevers, notably that of my friend, the late Dr. Simon Nicolls, who had a mortality of less than 5 per cent, in 230 cases.