RURAL SANITATION AND THE UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE.—For investigating and encouraging the adoption of approved methods of rural sanitation, and especially for devising and demonstrating effective measures against pellagra and typhoid fever, instructing farmers and others in the prevention and suppression of these diseases, conducting the necessary investigations and surveys and otherwise taking steps in co-operation with State and local authorities to prevent and eradicate these diseases in rural districts in the United States, for use by the United States Public Health Service, it is proposed to appropriate the sum of $100,000, according to a bill introduced into the house of representatives, February 5. An appropriation of $75,000 for special studies of, and demonstration work in, rural sanitation was requested by the secretary of the treasury in a letter addressed to the speaker of the house of representatives, February 8, for the use of the United States Public Health Service during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1917. An item of $50,000 for the same purpose, for use during the present fiscal year, is included in the urgent efficiency bill now being considered in conference. The present request is based on a report of the surgeon-general of the Public Health Service that the results of field investigations conducted by the Public Health Service since July 1, 1914, indicate the urgent need of the extension of these activities in country districts in order that sickness may be prevented, lives saved and local health organization advanced. More than 52 per cent. of the total population of the country is rural and the advancement of sanitation among this class has not kept pace with the advance in urban communities.
Poverty in the United States of America as a large factor in sanitation was convincingly shown November 26, by Surgeon General Gorgas, in his address before the annual meeting at Washington of the Clinical Society of Surgeons.
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Almost simultaneous announcement from two separate sources is just made of a valuable new antiseptic for infected or gangrenous wounds. Dr. Alexis Carrel, of the Rockefeller Institute, New York, and Dr. Henry D. Eakin, of the Lister Institute, London, are quoted by the Paris Matin, of August 5, as follows: "First, the wound is cleaned; then by rubber tubes the new antiseptic solution—a combination of hypochlorite of lime, carbonate of lime and boric acid—is introduced to the innermost parts of the affected tissues. The tubes, whose diameter and length vary according to the nature of the wound, are surrounded with a spongy material, which, by absorbing the solution, keeps the wound properly moist. Thus the worst wounds rapidly improve in eight days to an extent unknown with former antiseptic processes." The researches of Dr. Lorrelin Smith, professor of pathology in the University of Edinburgh, are given in the British Medical Journal, of July 24: Acting for the British Medical Research Committee with Drs. Drennan, Rettis and Campbell, Lorrelin Smith found that hypochlorous acid is a much more potent germicide than hypo-chlorites and after investigation devised a method in which free acid can be safely used as an antiseptic. British observers found the antiseptic is most conveniently prepared by the action of boric acid on bleaching powder, in the presence of a small quantity of water. This is the method which Dr. Carrel, working independently, also arrived at.
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There were 25,000 fatal accidents among American wage earners in 1913 and approximately 700,000 workmen injured whose disability was more than four weeks. Accidental deaths not due to industry in 1913 reached 57,250, according to a report issued at Washington by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industries which contribute the greatest number of fatal accidents are railroad employments and agricultural pursuits, each group being responsible for approximately 4,200 fatalities each year. Coal mining contributes more than 2,600, and building and construction work nearly 1,900. General manufacturing, while employing large numbers, produces only about 1,800 accidents.
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Eucalyptus as a specific for cerebro-spinal meningitis is announced in a press telegram from Melbourne, Australia, as having been discovered by Dr. Richard Bull, director of the bacteriological laboratory in the university there,
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A scarcity of available physicians for the post of interne in hospitals is being felt and large hospitals are now offering as much as $60 per month to suitable graduates of high-class colleges.
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THE MODERN SCHOOL.—Experimentation has become a practice with the John D. Rockefeller Educational Board. When this board was founded, many able educators regarded it with suspicion, because they apprehended that a few untrained or one-sided men would gain much control in the educational world because of the power of money. These fears are being realized to-day. Experimentation in education has its grave dangers. The subjects of experiment here are the minds of children and youth. If the experiment is a failure, the human souls are injured, and many suffer through all their lives. No intelligent parent will consent to have his children made the subject of experiment in education any more than in medicine or surgery. It might be fatal.—Presbyterian.
National Eclectic Medical Association Quarterly, Vol. 7, 1915-16, was edited by William Nelson Mundy, M.D.