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:

Skipping rope

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 children in a skipping-rope Read more

A case of hiccups

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 was very loud at times, Read more

The case of the poisonous pheasants

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 taking emetics to flush out … Read more

The incredible sleeping woman

Sleepy woman

The first issue of Medical Observations and Enquiries, a medical journal founded in London in 1757, contains this sad little tale:

Elizabeth Orvin, born at St. Gilain, of a healthy robust constitution served the curate of that place for many years very faithfully, till the beginning of 1738, that she became very sullen, uneasy, and so surly, that the Read more