Mistakes of physicians.
--Oliver W. Holmes
, in a lecture upon physiciaus, gives the following accounts of some mistakes which have been made in medicine.
Sooner of later everybody is tripped up in forming a disgnosts.
I saw Volnan one of the carotid arteries for a supposed aneurism, which was only a little harmless tumor, and kill his patient.
, of Dublin
, was more fortunate in a case he boloty declared an abecess, while others thought it an aneurism.
He thrust a lancet into it and proved himself in the right.
Soon after he made a similar diagnosis.
He thrust in his lancet as before and out gushed his pattent's blood and his life with it. The next morning Dense was found dead, floating in his blood.
He had divided the femoral artery.
I have doomed people and seen others doom them, over and over again on the strength of physical signs, and they have lived in the most contumaclous and scientifically unjustifiable marner as long as they some are living still.
I see, too, men in the street very often, who were as good as dead in the opinion of all who saw them in their extremity.
People will insist on living sometimes though manifesily moribund.
In Dr. Elder
's Life of Kane
you will find a story of this sort told by Dr. Kane
The captain of a ship was dying of sourvy, but the crew mutinied, and he gave up dying for the present to take care of them.
An old lady in this city, near herend, got a little vexed at a proposed charge in he will; made up her mind not to die just then; ordered a coach; was driven twenty miles to the house of a relative, and lived for four years longer.
Cotton Mother tells some good stories which he picked up in his experience, or out of his books, showing the unstable equilibrium of prognosis.
was shot in nine places, and as he lay for dead, the Indians made two backs with a hatchet to out his head off. He go well, however, and was a lusty fellow in Cotton Mather
's fines Jabes Musgrave
was shot with a bullet that went in his our and came out of his eye on the other side.
A couple of bullets went through his body a so Jabes got well, however, and lived many years.
per contre, Colonel Rositee
, cracking a plumbstone with his teeth, broke a tooth and lost hivlife.
We have seen physicians dying, like Spigelue, from a soratch; and a man who had a crowbar sent through his head is alive and well.
These extreme cases are warnings.
But you can never be too cautous in your progaosis, in the view of great uncertainty of the course of any disease not long patched and the many unexpected turns it may take.