Injured by the imagination

Forget drinking in pregnancy; here’s something far more dangerous.  From the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 1695: A lady was delivered of a girl, with a wound in her breast, above 4 fingers long, extended obliquely downwards, over the whole breast.  I found not only the wound outwardly in the skin, but after a nearer … Continue reading Injured by the imagination

Skipping-ropes: the silent killer

April 29th, 1905, and the ‘Minor Comments’ section of the Journal of the American Medical Association has a stark warning: Even among the apparently milder forms of children’s athletics there are some that are capable of producing injury or are even deadly at times.  The newspapers have recently reported the death from heart failure of three … Continue reading Skipping-ropes: the silent killer

A case of hiccups

Towards the end of May 1797 Miss A.B., a young woman from the Isle of Man, was afflicted by a particularly tenacious bout of hiccups.  It sounded like the panting which occurs after violent exercise, or like an aspirate pronunciation of the interjection Ha!  The pulse, respiration and speech were not in the least disturbed….It … Continue reading A case of hiccups

The case of the poisonous pheasants

In the month of February, 1791, several persons in Philadelphia were seized, in about three hours after dining upon pheasants, with giddiness, violent flushing of heat and cold in the face and head, sickness at stomach, and repeated vomiting. Some of the afflicted Philadelphians became delirious, or lost the power of speech.  Some recovered after … Continue reading The case of the poisonous pheasants