Monday, 8 June 2015

Edward Mitchell - Oculist & Homeopathist, Peel Street, Ballarat - Diptheria and its treatment

Thanks again to Trove, I have just made an amazing discovery. The actual words of an ancestor by way of a letter written by him in January 1872; two months before he died.

Edward Mitchell, the drunken doctor of Ballarat (converted by Matthew Burnett, the Yorkshire Evangelist & Australia's Greatest Evangelist and Social Reformer) appears to have had a letter of his published in the Ballarat Star and repeated in the Geelong Advertiser (Vic) on Friday 19 January 1872.

The following appears in the Ballarat
Star-.—" Sir, I have, from time to time,
when this disease has been raging, called
attention to the fact that homoeopathic
treatment has been the only known treat-
ment by which cures of diptheria have been
effected, and I have often stated that some
years ago in Geelong where the disease
raged to a fearful extent; and the number of
deaths great, I attended, nearly forty, the
whole of which I treated homoeopathically.
and all recovered except one, this one case
I pronounced incurable (being too far gone)
immediately I saw it. I would here state
that many of the cases so cured were in
families where one or more had died of the
disease previous to my being called in. I
merely state this in order that it may
not be supposed they were not real cases of
the disease. It is too often the case that
many suffering from simple affections of
the throat are unduly alarmed by hints
being thrown out that there exist symptoms
of the disease. You will, doubtless, recol-
lect some few years, ago when scarlatina
raged in Ballarat, especially in the hollow
in Wills street, where were seventeen cases,
nine of which I treated homoeopathically
and all recovered, and of the remaining
eight treated allopathically five died. I
wish it to be distinctly understood
that I am not making this state-
ment in order to increase my practice,
as I am relinquishing all practice except that
of the eye and ear. I merely wish to men-
tion some of the remedies by which I so
successfully treated the cases named, and
as the whole may be obtained for a few
shillings, heads of families would do well to
provide them. I may here state for in-
formation that Mr Towl, chemist, from my
recommendation, commenced to sell them.
I will here give a few directions for the
guidance of parents, which may be useful,
especially where medical aid cannot be
immediately obtained. On the first ap-
pearance of the disease, which very often
closely resembles croup, my treatment
has generally commenced with aconitum,
one globule every half-hour, which ge-
nerally produces a profuse perspiration
When such is the case, which is gene-
rally after the sixth or eighth dose,
deep sleep will generally result, this is to
be considered a very favorable symptom.
If it lasts from three to four or even five
hours, I have always had but little trouble
after. On awaking drink will generally be
asked for, when half a wineglass-full off
cold water, previously boiled, should be
given. Aconitum will often have such
salutary effect that but little treatment is
required after; but should the patient com-
plain of sore throat, belladonna should be
administered, one or two globules every two
hours. In severe cases, where a whistling in
breathing, which is generally accompanied
with a hoarse, hollow cough, hepar sul-
phuris, two globules every half hour.
When oppression in breathing, or rattling
of phlegm in the chest, antimonium, tar-
taricum, two globules every half hour.
Phosphorus may follow in same dose and
time. In very severe symptoms arsenicum,
may be given with great benefit, one or two
globules every half or even every quarter
of an hour. Of all the abovenamed medi-
cines, four to eight doses will generally be
the quantity to produce beneficial results,
and can if required be repeated a second
time. In severe cases, and generally as a
last resource, spongia is an invaluable
remedy, one globule every half hour.
This medicine I have very seldom used,
cures having been generally effected
without it. Lachesis is very useful where a
short dry cough exists, with difficulty in
breathing. There are many other medi-
cines, but those already named will gene-
rally be sufficient to effect a cure. Great
care should be used to prevent a relapse,
which is easily brought on by draught, and
commencing to exercise the body too soon,
and great care should likewise be used on
approaching convalescence in giving food
light, nourishing, in small quantities, and
not too often. By publishing this, I doubt
not many will have to thank you. Yours,
&c.,E, MITCHEL, Oculist.&c.,Peel-street

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