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A hundred years ago
01 Aug 2016
The idea of employing the electrically provoked activity of the muscles as a therapeutic agent has been made practical by the perfection of the present apparatus. It acts quite independently of the patient’s will, and demands no expenditure; its application is not restricted by any crippling condition of the joints, and, whilst avoiding any dangerous strain upon the heart, it provides an amount of exercise sufficient to start a more or less rapid lipolysis. With the internal reserves thus more freely available, it is the usual thing to find that the patient’s appetite diminishes, in spite of the muscular work electrically excited, until all desire is satisfied with a small amount of food and a very slender diet is supported with absolute comfort. The food supply is reduced without difficulty below the figure of expenditure. Perhaps the most interesting and surprising feature, in many cases of all ages, is the rapidity with which physical activity may be regained under treatment.
23 Jun 2016
WITH SIR CLIFFORD ALLBUTT as its high priest, bleeding, with restraint, is in the process of coming by its own again. I first heard Sir Clifford Allbutt speak in praise of blood-letting in 1907, and I find this view confirmed in his recently published book. Blood letting has been advocated during the last fifteen years by those best qualified to speak of it from experience, namely, the general practitioners. However, they speak furtively, shamefacedly, and in the fear of the pseudo-scientific superman. These gentle counsellors have been assailed with such vociferous energy by the pseudo-scientist, that their timid voices have scarcely been heard.
Giving up alcohol early on improves survival in cirrhosis
21 May 2009
Stopping drinking a month after the diagnosis of cirrhosis is the most important predictor of survival, a British study has found. The severity of cirrhosis found on biopsy had little impact on survival. The study followed 100 patients consecutively diagnosed with biopsy proven alcohol-induced cirrhosis at Southampton General Hospital. Patients with additional disease processes which were non-cirrhotic and patients without accurate mortality data were excluded from the study. Biopsies were scored for severity of cirrhosis by two independent observers. Data on drinking 30 days after diagnosis were available on all but four subjects.'This study clearly confirms that the single most important determinant of long-term prognosis in alcohol-induced cirrhosis is for the patient to stop drinking. For patients with cirrhosis, it is never too late.'