Worms in the nose

In 1783 the Medical Commentaries received a striking communication on a curious subject: worms in the nose.  It came from a surgeon based in Jamaica, Mr Thomas Kilgour:  A Gentleman of Montego-bay in Jamaica, aged twenty-six, of a middle stature, and robust make, about the middle of July 1777, complained for three days, of a … Continue reading Worms in the nose

The miller’s tale

In 1737 the Philosophical Transactions published a medical case so remarkable that it was still being quoted in journals well over a century later. It was reported by John Belchier, a surgeon at Guy’s Hospital in London and a Fellow of the Royal Society. The Gentleman’s Magazine from 1745 contains this anecdote about him: One … Continue reading The miller’s tale

The redoubtable Mrs H

In 1857 the Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery reported this unusual case of childbirth. What is particularly remarkable about it is that the birth itself was straightforward, and both mother and child were completely healthy – but it still bears repeated telling.  The mother was a Mrs H., a ‘stout, healthy woman’ of 25. … Continue reading The redoubtable Mrs H

Inexpressibly loathsome and sickening

Unlikely tales were often swallowed unquestioningly by the editors of medical journals in the nineteenth century, so it was a welcome corrective to find this preface to a case report published in The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal in 1854: An esteemed correspondent has sent us an account of “a most extraordinary case,” which he says he … Continue reading Inexpressibly loathsome and sickening