Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 86.djvu/65

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61
ANIMAL EXPERIMENTATION

The benefits of vaccination against typhoid fever are shared by children with adults, and the tests for the speedy recognition of tuberculosis and syphilis have given brilliant results by allowing early and successful treatment. It has been ignorantly or maliciously stated that these diseases may be induced by these tests, whereas such an accident is rendered impossible by the preliminary destruction of the living virus. Most of these charges are made by those having a ludicrous ignorance of the most elementary facts of biology.

In many cases, the destructive and prolonged poisoning of syphilis can be eradicated by a few doses of Salvarsan followed by the older alterative treatment, and thereby a hereditary taint completely removed. It is thus possible to protect innocent mothers and unborn or recently born infants.

 

Surgical Conditions

It is hardly necessary to state that children have derived their full share in the inestimable benefits that have followed aseptic and antiseptic surgery. Septicemia and pyemia are prevented and frequently cured. Cavities of the body formerly out of reach of surgical aid are now fearlessly explored and life thus saved. As an example, the various obstructions of the bowel peculiar to children are cured in a large proportions of cases. In former times death usually ensued in such conditions, as both physician and surgeon feared the large mortality that followed the opening of the abdomen. Even very young infants are now successfully operated upon for this grave condition. Certain forms of peritonitis are cured by simply opening the abdomen.

Recently, bone grafting, that promises brilliant results in straightening crooked backs and other bony deformities in children, has been successfully tried as a result of previous experiments on animals.

Profuse and uncontrollable hemorrhages in the newly-born, formerly fatal, are now saved by transfusion, which was first studied and the technique perfected by vessel suturing in the lower animals. Practically the whole realm of surgical accidents and diseases in children has been benefited and illuminated, directly and indirectly, as a result of animal experimentation. We must not forget to mention, in this connection, how anti-tetanus serum has prevented lockjaw after certain jagged wounds. It has thus helped to take away some of the horror from the frequent accidents to children in the cherished, but undesirable, Fourth of July celebrations.

If such great and beneficent work has already been accomplished in a few years, it is safe to prophesy more certain and brilliant results in the future. Scientific men have perfected their knowledge and technique and are fast conquering nature's secrets. There is no foretelling to what extent disease can be overcome by persisting in the present fruitful