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lions of the law, and to secure uniformity of practice at the several ports in carrying out its provisions with precision and efficiency, to furnish you with the additional instructions which follow, explanatory and in modification of the circular instructions addressed to you by the Department of the 8ih July, 1843.
To avoid the recurrence of a difference of opinion between the officers of the customs as to what particular articles of commerce should be considered drugs and medicines, and as such subject to special examination by the special examiner of drugs and medicines, it is thought proper to state that, in conformity with the evident spirit and intent of the law, it is required that all merchandise used wholly or in part as medicine, and found described as such in the standard works specially referred to in the act, must be considered drugs and medicines, and that all invoices, therefore, of such articles, in whole or in part, must be submiited to the examination of the special examiner of drugs and medicines, before they can be permitted to pass the custom-house.
In the examination on entry of any medicinal preparation, the said special examiner is to unite with the appraiser.
With a view to afford a reliable guide to the examiner of drugs and medicines, as well as to the analytical chemist, on appeal, in ascertaining the admissibility of such articles under the provisions of law, founded on their purity and strength, the following list is given of some of the principal articles, with the result of special tests agreeing with the standard authorities referred to in the law, all of which articles are to be entitled to eniry when ascertained by analysis to be composed as noted, viz.:—
Aloes, when affording 80 per cent, of pure aloetic extractive.
Aasafoetida, when affording 50 per cent, of its peculiar bitter resin, and
Assafoetida, when affording 3 per cent, of volatile oil.
Bark, Cinchona, when affording one per cent, of pure quinia, whether called Peruvian, Calasaya, Arica, Carthagena, Maracaibo, Santa Martha, Bogota, or under whatever name, or from whatever place; or
Bark, Cinchona, when affording two per cent of the several natural alkaloids combined, as quinia, cinchonia, quinidia, ancene, 4tc., the barks of such strength being admissible as safe and proper for medicine
j and useful for chemical manufacturing purposes.
j Benzoin, when affording 80 per ct. of resin, or
benzoic acid, colocynthin. ejaterin. resin, gom, and volatile oil. pure gamboge resin and gom.
resin, resin, and gum.
pure jalap re
Jalap, when affording 11"
sin, whether in root or in powder Manna, when affording 37 per ct. of pure man
Myrrh," 30" pure myrrh
"" 50" gum.
Opium, u 9" pure mor
Rhubarb," 40" soluble mat
ter, whether in root or powder ; none admissible but the article known as East India, Turkey, or Russian rhubarb.
Sagapenum, 50 per cent, of resin. Sagapenum, 30 per cent, of gum, and Sagapenum, 3 per cent, of volatile oil. Scammony, 70 per cent, of pure scammony rosin.
Senna, 28 per cent, of soluble matter. All medicinal leaves, flowers, barks, roots, extracts, <fcc., not herein specified, must be, when imported, in perfect condition, and of as recent collection and preparation as practicable.
All pharmaceutical and chemical preparations, whether crystallized or otherwise, used in medicine, must be found on examination to be pure, and of proper consistence and strengih, as well as of perfect manufacture, conformably with the formulas contained in the standard authorities named in the act; and must in no instance contain over three per cent, of excess of moisture for water of crystallization. ! Essential or volatite oils, as well as ex: pressed oils used in medicine, must be !pure, and conform to the standards of specific gravity noted and declared in the disj pensatories mentioned in the act. j "Patent or secret medicines" ore bylaw subject to the same examinations, and disposition after examination, as other medicinal preparations, and cannot be permitted to pass the custom-house for consumption, but must be rejected and condemned, unless the special examiner bo satisfied, after j due investigation, that they arc fit and safe to be used for medicinal purposes.
The appeal from the report of the special examiner of drugs and medicines, provided
the treatment. From several recent trials we feel warranted in saying that the chances
for in the act, must be made by the owner !are altogeiher better for the acquittal of an or consignee within ten days after the said j ignorant, uneducated pretender to medical
the j knowledge, who is really guilty, than for that of an intelligent, well-educated surgeon, to whom no fault can justly be
report; and in case of such appeal, analysis made by the analytical chemist is expected to be full and in detail, setting
forth clearly and accurately, the name, i charged.—New Hampshite Journal of Me
quantity, and quality of the several component parts of tne article in question; to be j reported to the collector under oath or affirm-' ation.
Report of the Weather in Philadelphia for May, 1853. — The temperature of the last
On such report being made, a copy of the j month rose to 65.33 degrees, which is about
same will be immediately furnished by the collector to the special examiner of drugs and medicines, who, if the report be in conflict with his return made to the collector, and he have cause to believe that the appeal and analytical examination have not been conducted in strict conformity with the law, may enter his protest in writing against the reception and adoption by the collector of such report and analysis, until a reasonable time be allowed him in the preparation of his views in the case, and their submission to this department for its consideration. JAMES GUTHRIE,
Secretary of the Treasury.
Prosecutions of Medical Men.—Within the past year several suits have been commenced and carried through against medical men for malpractice. Among those in this vicinity we may mention the trials of Dr. Hammond, of Nashua, and Dr. Sargent, of Rochester in this State, and more recently that of Dr. Kittredge, of Andover, Massachusetts. In the first case, Dr. Hammond was acquitted, not more in consequence of the ability of his counsel than the honesty and independence of the surgeon called to testify for the plaintiff. In Dr. Sargent's case we are informed that the verdict was given for the plaintiff in the face of the most ex
two degrees above the average temperature of the same month last year, and nearly three degrees above the average mean of many years. Rains also were abundant, more or less falling on fifteen days, and amounting for the month, as measured and recorded at the Pennsylvania Hospital, to 5.173 inches. The month thus abounding in heat and moisture, the two great elements of vegetable growth, the earth is at present teeming with more than her usual promise.
Seven times, during the month, the fall of rain was attended with thunder and lightning. That which occurred at 9 o'clock, on the evening of the 23d, was the most severe; and what is worthy of remark, Quebec, L. C., was visited about the same hour with a destructive thunderstorm, by which one or more individuals lost their lives.
The prevalence of west and southwest winds during the month was quite remarkable. Out of the 31 days, the wind was westerly ?5 days, and southerly 19 days; that is, on some part or the whole of that number of days the wind was at some point of the compass within these quarters. During the whole spring, also, the prevalence of these winds has been quite unusual: the days of westerly wind for the three months amounting to 76, and of southerly wind to plicit testimony from medical men. The j 50 days. This, it seems highly probable,
same was true in Dr. Kittredge's trial, in which, as we understand it, after an injury
is attributable to the remarkable ahsence of floating ice in the neighbouring oceans.—
to the arm in which there was rupture of the ! Ordinarily, for six or eight weeks in spring, brachial artery, the attending surgeon was j extensive fields and bergs are encountered,
brought in guilty for causing the arm to slough off by tight bandaging. The com
in lat. 42 to 44, long. 50 to 52, and are the terror of passing vessels. In 1851, ships
munity should be made to understand thai ;coasted along the border of these floes for by encouraging such prosecutions they are ' days in succession, seeking a passage endangering their own safety, and surgeons ' through or around them. And when it is will be compelled in self-defence to require j remembered that their temperature is usually beforehand a bond that they shall not be • about 15 degrees of Fahrenheit, it will not prosecuted, whatever maybe the result of; appear improbable that they should influ
ence the course of the wind upon our Atlantic border during the spring months. Strengthening this view, is the fact we have alluded to, that no such floes have been encountered the present season. We will add, that for the whole three spring months, there have been 20 days only in which there was any E. in the wind for any observed portion of the day ; and that in the same period, the wind was easterly on seven; vhol s days only. While in the spring of! 1851, the season of extensive floes, an easterly wind prevailed 34 days; and for 19 days the wind was easterly all day.
The mean temperature of the three spring months was 54.67 degrees, which is about 4 degrees above the mean average temperature of last year.
The effect of the warm spring upon the health of our community is quite apparent in the bills of mortality; for while the whole number of deaths for the three spring months of last year was 26ft7, this year it was reduced to 2294, or 363 less; and this, notwithstanding an evident increase of population.
Accouchement of Queen Victoria—'Chloroform employed.—We find the following article in the I,ancet of May 16, 1853 :—
"A very extraordinary report lias obtained general circulation connected with the recent accouchement o( her most gracious Majesty' Queen Victoria. It has always been understood by the profession that the birtbs of the Royal children in all instances have been unattended by any peculiar or untoward circumstances.' Intense astonishment, therefore, has been excited throughout the profession by the rumour that her Majesty during her last labour was placed under.the influence of chloroform, an agent which has unquestionably caused instantaneous death in a considerable number of cases. Doubte on this subject cannot exist. In several of the fatal examples, persons in their usual health expired while the process of inhalation was proceeding, and the deplorable catastrophes were clearly and indisputably referable to the poisonous action of chloroform, and to that cause alone.
"These facts being perfectly well known to the medical world, we could not imagine that any one had incurred the awful responsibility of advising the administration of chloroform to her Majesty during a perfectly natural labour with a seventh child. On inquiry, therefore, we were not at all surprised to learn that in her late confinement the Queen was not rendered insensible by chloroform or by any other anaesthetic agent. We state this with feelings of the highest satisfaction. In no case could it be justifiable to administer chloroform in perlectly ordinary labour; but the responsibility of advocating such a proceeding in the case of the Sovereign of these realms would, indeed, be tremendous. Probably some officious meddlers about the Court so for overruled her Majesty's responsible professional advisers as to lead to the pretence of administering chloroform, but we believe the obstetric physicians to whose ability the safety of our illustrious Queen is confided do not sanction the use of chloroform in natural labour. Let it not ,be supposed that we would undervalue the immense importance of chloroform in surgical operations. We know that an incalculable amount of agony is averted by its employment. On thousands of occasions
'. it has been given without injury, but inas. : much as it has destroyed life in a considerable number of instances, its unnecessary inhalation involves, in our opinion, an amount of responsibility which words cannot adequately describe, j . "We have felt irresistibly impelled to make the foregoing observations, fearing the consequences of allowing such a rumor respecting a dangerous practice in one of our national palaces to pass unrefuted. Royal examples are followed with extraordinary readiness by a certain class of society in this country."
Notwitbstanding the above statement we find the following announcement in the Association Medical Journal of April 15 •— "Her Majesty's Accouchement— Chloroform.—On Thursday, the 7th instant, at half past one P.M., the Queen was safely delivered of a prince. This announcement has, we feel assured, inspired among all classes feelings of interest and sincere gladness; but there are circumstances connected with the event which have likewise imparted to it no small degree of medical importance. We refer to the employment of chloroform having been sanctioned by Her j Majesty's Physician in Ordinary, Sir James Clark, Her Majesty's First Physician Accoucheur, Dr. Locock, and Her Majesty's other Physician Accoucheur, Dr. Fergusson ; to its having been administered by Dr. Snow; and to the fact of the Queen and the infant prince having gone on favourably from I he first.
"We understand that chloroform was administered by Dr. Snow during the latter part of the labour, with very satisfactory effect; and that the Queen expressed herself as grateful for the discovery of this means of alleviating and preventing pain.
"The responsible position, and the acknowledged skill of the physicians who sanctioned the inhalation of the chloroform, the Royal Majesty of the patient, and the excellence of her recovery, are circum'stances which will probably remove much of the lingering professional and popular prejudice against the use of anaesthesia in midwifery, even when sanctioned by competent authoriiy, and induced with requisite precaution. It is for this reason that we chronicle the recent accouchement of Her Majesty as an event of unquestionable medical importance.
Proceedings of the Eighth Annual Meet-
Dr. Francis T. Steirlt?»g, of the West-
Insane, Indianapolis. Dr. J. H. Wortn-
The meeting was called to order by Dr.
In the temporary absence of the President,
On motion of Dr. Kirkbride, it was—
Resolved, That each member be author-
On motion of Dr. Fonerden. that a com-