of 2 /2
1334 MEDICAL SOCIETIES SOCIETY OF MEDICAL OFFICERS OF HEALTH AT a meeting of the fever hospital medical service group of this society, held in London on May 27th, a discussion on the Modern Treatment of Cerebro-spinal Fever was opened by Dr. C. G. K. THOMPSON (L.C.C.) Speaking of the treatment of meningitis by continuous spinal drainage as described in THE LANCET of Nov. 27th, 1937, he said that the results had been encouraging in spite of the fact that the death-rate had worked out at 36 per cent. Large doses of serum (160 c.cm.) were given intravenously on three successive days to combat the toxaemia and sterilise the cerebro-spinal fluid (C.S.F.). Experiments performed in conjunction with Dr. V. D. Allison showed that the serum thus given appears in the C.S.F. within two hours and that artificial agglutinins also pass the blood-brain barrier within two hours. This important finding lent weight to the principle of continuous spinal drainage. In all, 28 cases had so far been treated by the method, 19 of which were in the " severe " category and accounted for all the 10 deaths. Pulmonary complications were the cause of 6 of these deaths and they might possibly have been avoided ; the actual death-rate from meningitis alone was only 14 per cent. Drainage was continued for an average of 150 hours (7 days) ; the greatest amount drained was 4185 c.cm., and the average amount was 2 litres. The treatment in Dr. Thompson’s opinion presented considerable advantages over the routine diurnal lumbar puncture, three of these advantages being the very rapid relief of the acute symptoms and restora- tion of comparative comfort, the prevention of blocking of the ependymal foramina of the fourth ventricle, and the prevention of loculation of the inflammatory debris in the subarachnoid spaces of the cord (particularly the perineural diverticula of the cord) which gave rise to the distressing spinal rigidity. It was rational to relieve the raised intra- cranial tension which was probably due in the main to the outpouring of inflammatory exudate and to the general increase in volume of the craniospinal contents, and to keep the pressure normal so that increase of congestion might hasten the process of repair. Any treatment that did not provide an adequate escape for this large amount of exudate entailed a very real risk of sequelae in the form of nerve-root pressure from adhesions left by the loculated exudate. Dr. H. STANLEY BANKS (L.C.C.) said that everyone would be impressed by the ingenuity of the continuous- drainage technique, but his own experience had led him to ’an entirely opposite conclusion as to the treatment of acute cases-namely, that drainage was unnecessary provided the C.S.F. could be rapidly freed from organisms. This could usually be achieved either by the intensive use of meningococcus antitoxin or with sulphanilamide. In the last 4i years he had treated 107 acute cases. Of these, 38 had had serum alone, intravenously and spinally (fatality-rate 16 per cent.), and 58 serum intravenously with sulphanil- amide in high dosage by mouth (fatality-rate 12 per cent.). The remaining I were selected cases treated with sulphanilamide alone (1 death). This comprised the whole of the material received during the period, except for certain groups of cases that were excluded as not being amenable to specific treatment. In the group receiving combined therapy there were 10 infants under one year, of whom 1 died. An investiga- tion carried out at the Southern Group Laboratory had shown that serum given intravenously in this disease rapidly appeared in fractional amount in the C.S.F. and was maintained therein for several days. Sulphanilamide given by mouth appeared in the C.S.F. in about the same proportion as in the blood stream ; it should be maintained at a level of about 5 mg. per 100 c.cm. for at least three days. The dosage required to secure this was high, averaging 1 gramme daily per stone of body-weight, and in infants two or three times this amount. The dose was reduced after three days and terminated in about nine days. Early cyanosis was not in itself an indica- tion for reducing dosage. It was not due to sulph- or meth-hxmoglobin. The drug, even in the acute stage of this disease, could be administered by mouth. He considered that sulphanilamide therapy was a most important advance, but that in moderate and severe cases serum should be given in addition in a large dose, not intrathecally but intravenously, or in infants intraperitoneally. Dr. SAGE SUTHERLAND (Manchester) said that during the five years 1933-37 201 cases of cerebro-spinal fever had been treated in hospital at Manchester. The annual fatality-rate varied from 28 per cent. to 47 per cent. During the last twelve months antibacterial and antitoxic serum had been administered intramuscularly, intravenously, and intrathecally, the average dosage being about 100 c.cm. and the fatality-rate (excluding deaths within forty. eight hours) was 37 per cent. In a survey of 201 cases treated during the last five years the lowest fatality-rate was 14 per cent. in the 5-10 age-group, and the highest 67 per cent. in the under 1 year group. Dr. J. V. ARMSTRONG (L.C.C.) said he had watched Dr. Thompson evolve his method of treatment at the Brook Hospital and admired the ingenuity he had shown in overcoming the many difficulties that arose. He felt that the principle of continuous drainage- namely that free drainage should be given to a purulent exudate that was under pressure-was physiologically sound. The method had eliminated basal block, but unfortunately was inapplicable to infants, among whom basal block and hydrocephalus were common complications. He thought the fact that an infant discharged apparently cured might later develop hydrocephalus should always be taken into account in assessing any form of treatment. All discharged patients should be followed up. Dr. Banks’s results with serum and sulphanilamide were most impressive. He was anxious to know how long the C.S.F. remained purulent under treat- ment and whether Dr. Banks had noticed any toxic effects of sulphanilamide besides cyanosis. He thought a soluble form of the drug would be of great advantage for administration by injection in the early unconscious stage of the disease. He finally mentioned the use of continuous drainage and sulphanilamide as being valuable in the treatment of streptococcal meningitis and said he knew of 4 cases which had recovered after such treatment. Dr. R. A. O’BRIEN (Wellcome Physiological Research Lab.) suggested that the favourable results in Dr. Banks’s series were due to the action of sulphanil- amide not only on the meningococci, but also on the streptococci which might cause fatal broncho-

SOCIETY OF MEDICAL OFFICERS OF HEALTH

Embed Size (px)

Citation preview

1334

MEDICAL SOCIETIES

SOCIETY OF MEDICAL OFFICERS OF

HEALTH

AT a meeting of the fever hospital medical servicegroup of this society, held in London on May 27th,a discussion on the

Modern Treatment of Cerebro-spinal Feverwas opened by Dr. C. G. K. THOMPSON (L.C.C.)Speaking of the treatment of meningitis by continuousspinal drainage as described in THE LANCET ofNov. 27th, 1937, he said that the results had beenencouraging in spite of the fact that the death-ratehad worked out at 36 per cent. Large doses ofserum (160 c.cm.) were given intravenously on threesuccessive days to combat the toxaemia and sterilisethe cerebro-spinal fluid (C.S.F.). Experimentsperformed in conjunction with Dr. V. D. Allisonshowed that the serum thus given appears in theC.S.F. within two hours and that artificial agglutininsalso pass the blood-brain barrier within two hours.This important finding lent weight to the principleof continuous spinal drainage. In all, 28 cases hadso far been treated by the method, 19 of which werein the " severe " category and accounted for all the10 deaths. Pulmonary complications were the causeof 6 of these deaths and they might possibly havebeen avoided ; the actual death-rate from meningitisalone was only 14 per cent. Drainage was continuedfor an average of 150 hours (7 days) ; the greatestamount drained was 4185 c.cm., and the averageamount was 2 litres.The treatment in Dr. Thompson’s opinion presented

considerable advantages over the routine diurnallumbar puncture, three of these advantages beingthe very rapid relief of the acute symptoms and restora-tion of comparative comfort, the prevention of

blocking of the ependymal foramina of the fourthventricle, and the prevention of loculation of the

inflammatory debris in the subarachnoid spaces ofthe cord (particularly the perineural diverticulaof the cord) which gave rise to the distressing spinalrigidity. It was rational to relieve the raised intra-cranial tension which was probably due in the mainto the outpouring of inflammatory exudate and tothe general increase in volume of the craniospinalcontents, and to keep the pressure normal so thatincrease of congestion might hasten the process ofrepair. Any treatment that did not provide an

adequate escape for this large amount of exudateentailed a very real risk of sequelae in the form ofnerve-root pressure from adhesions left by theloculated exudate.

Dr. H. STANLEY BANKS (L.C.C.) said that everyonewould be impressed by the ingenuity of the continuous-drainage technique, but his own experience had ledhim to ’an entirely opposite conclusion as to thetreatment of acute cases-namely, that drainagewas unnecessary provided the C.S.F. could be rapidlyfreed from organisms. This could usually be achievedeither by the intensive use of meningococcus antitoxinor with sulphanilamide. In the last 4i years he hadtreated 107 acute cases. Of these, 38 had had serumalone, intravenously and spinally (fatality-rate 16 percent.), and 58 serum intravenously with sulphanil-amide in high dosage by mouth (fatality-rate 12 percent.). The remaining I were selected cases treatedwith sulphanilamide alone (1 death). This comprisedthe whole of the material received during the period,

except for certain groups of cases that were excludedas not being amenable to specific treatment. In the

group receiving combined therapy there were 10

infants under one year, of whom 1 died. An investiga-tion carried out at the Southern Group Laboratoryhad shown that serum given intravenously in thisdisease rapidly appeared in fractional amount in theC.S.F. and was maintained therein for several days.Sulphanilamide given by mouth appeared in theC.S.F. in about the same proportion as in the bloodstream ; it should be maintained at a level of about5 mg. per 100 c.cm. for at least three days. The

dosage required to secure this was high, averaging1 gramme daily per stone of body-weight, and in infantstwo or three times this amount. The dose wasreduced after three days and terminated in aboutnine days. Early cyanosis was not in itself an indica-tion for reducing dosage. It was not due to sulph-or meth-hxmoglobin. The drug, even in the acutestage of this disease, could be administered by mouth.He considered that sulphanilamide therapy was amost important advance, but that in moderate andsevere cases serum should be given in addition in alarge dose, not intrathecally but intravenously, or

in infants intraperitoneally.Dr. SAGE SUTHERLAND (Manchester) said that during

the five years 1933-37 201 cases of cerebro-spinalfever had been treated in hospital at Manchester.The annual fatality-rate varied from 28 per cent.to 47 per cent. During the last twelve monthsantibacterial and antitoxic serum had beenadministered intramuscularly, intravenously, and

intrathecally, the average dosage being about 100 c.cm.and the fatality-rate (excluding deaths within forty.eight hours) was 37 per cent. In a survey of 201cases treated during the last five years the lowestfatality-rate was 14 per cent. in the 5-10 age-group,and the highest 67 per cent. in the under 1 year group.

Dr. J. V. ARMSTRONG (L.C.C.) said he had watchedDr. Thompson evolve his method of treatment at theBrook Hospital and admired the ingenuity he hadshown in overcoming the many difficulties that arose.He felt that the principle of continuous drainage-namely that free drainage should be given to a

purulent exudate that was under pressure-wasphysiologically sound. The method had eliminatedbasal block, but unfortunately was inapplicable toinfants, among whom basal block and hydrocephaluswere common complications. He thought the factthat an infant discharged apparently cured mightlater develop hydrocephalus should always be takeninto account in assessing any form of treatment.All discharged patients should be followed up.Dr. Banks’s results with serum and sulphanilamidewere most impressive. He was anxious to knowhow long the C.S.F. remained purulent under treat-ment and whether Dr. Banks had noticed any toxiceffects of sulphanilamide besides cyanosis. He

thought a soluble form of the drug would be of greatadvantage for administration by injection in the

early unconscious stage of the disease. He finallymentioned the use of continuous drainage and

sulphanilamide as being valuable in the treatmentof streptococcal meningitis and said he knew of 4cases which had recovered after such treatment.

Dr. R. A. O’BRIEN (Wellcome Physiological ResearchLab.) suggested that the favourable results inDr. Banks’s series were due to the action of sulphanil-amide not only on the meningococci, but also on thestreptococci which might cause fatal broncho-

1335

pneumonia : antibacterial serum properly made

would protect mice against lethal doses of culture.Miss Branham had recently favoured the use of

sulphanilamide as well as serum proved by mouseexperiment to contain protective antibody.Dr. J. E. MCCARTNEY (L.C.C.) said that the most

significant point about Dr. Banks’s work was theswift disappearance of organisms and rapid reductionin the number of cells in the C.S.F. The cells indicatedthe degree of inflammatory reaction and their dimi-nution showed the control of the infection. In theabsence of infection therefore there were no inflam-matory products to remove and repeated punctureand continuous drainage were unnecessary. Thereshould be no aftermath of infection due to chronicfibrosis, and hydrocephalus should not supervene. Bycontinuous drainage the products of inflammatoryreaction were removed, but the infection itself wasnot touched and in consequence chronic inflammationwith hydrocephalus was more likely to follow.

Dr. ERIC JEWESBURY (St. Bartholomew’s Hospital)said there must be general agreement that Dr. Banks’sresults were very impressive. He spoke of 6 casesat St. Bartholomew’s in which sulphanilamide,combined with specific therapy and regular lumbardrainage, had been employed.1 Lack of experiencehad led to the sulphanilamide being given by variousroutes and the dosage had been smaller than Dr. Banksadvocated. The response had therefore been slower.All the cases, however, had been severe ones and allhad made good recoveries. Dr. Jewesbury mentioneda case in which the concentration of sulphanilamidein the C.S.F. fell after the dose by mouth had beendoubled. The concentration and the effectivenessof sulphanilamide in the C.S.F. seemed to be variableand unrelated to one another; Crawford and Fleming,2for instance, found that in one case a concentrationof 1-39 mg. per 100 c.cm. in the C.S.F. sterilised it,whereas in another similar case a concentration of17-8 mg. per 100 c.cm. failed to do so. A constantdose by mouth often led to very variable concentra-tions in the C.S.F.

ROYAL ACADEMY OF MEDICINE IN

IRELAND

AT the meeting of the surgical section held onMarch llth, a paper on

Fractures of the Femoral Neck

was read by Mr. ARTHUR CHANCE. It described48 cases treated by the Sven Johansson method, theadvantages of which in Mr. Chance’s opinion are

(1) that it is safe, even for old people, (2) that it isfollowed by an easy convalescence, (3) that firm

bony union is the rule, and (4) that excellent func-tional results are obtained. Of the 48 patientsoperated on, 7 died ; 5 of these deaths were attri-butable to the operation-a mortality of 10-5 percent., as compared with a mortality by conservativemethods estimated at 20-25 per cent. Given goodapposition of the fragments at reduction, and con-tinued immobilisation by central positioning of thepin, bony union resulted in 86-90 per cent. of cases.Of 28 patients radiographed three months to a yearafter the operation, 22 showed firm bony union andin only 2 was there a definite non-union. A reviewof functional results in 30 cases operated on over six

1 Jewesbury, E., Lancet, June 4th, 1938, p. 1262.2 Crawford, T., and Fleming, G. B., Ibid, April 30th, 1938, p. 987.

months showed 19 fit to return to their former occu-pations, 8 who had to use a stick or were unable tolead their similar pre-accident life, and 3 with poorfunctional result. Alteration in the position of thepin occurred in 14 cases, but in all but 1 of thesethere was already firm bony union. It was concludedtherefore that a properly,aligned pin never comesout in the early stages ; when this occurred, withtelescoping of the neck, it was due to too earlyweight-bearing. X ray examination at three-monthlyintervals after operation was advisable to detect anymovement of the pin. Arthritis was not the inevitableend-result of this method of treatment as was held

by its critics. It was singularly absent in this seriesof cases.Mr. J. L. KEEGAN said that when one considered

what happened to these cases in former days, onecould not fail to be greatly impressed by the improve-ment achieved by the procedure described.

Dr. R. W. SHAW said that in only 3 of the caseshad it been necessary to give nitrous oxide as an

adjuvant to the spinal anaesthetic. The great majorityof patients had had no objection to spinal anaesthesia,but 3 patients had received Avertin and nitrous oxidealone.Mr. DENis KENNEDY mentioned the case of the

old patient whose femur gave way without any,violence whatever. He felt that no series of pins oroperations would bring the neck of such a femurinto satisfactory condition.

Mr. HENRY STOKES said that until the proceduredescribed by Mr. Chance was introduced he had neverseen what he would call a really good result in a caseof fracture of the neck of the femur.

Mr. S. T. IRWIN’S own experience of this methodhad been gained in treating 33 cases during the lastthree years ; he had also operated on 12 other patientsby various other methods. One case had beentreated by pinning fourteen months after the fracture,and firm bony union had been obtained, so that thepatient could now get about well. At first he hadallowed his patients up the day after the operation,to sit on a chair; but now he was sure this was bad,for although the pin would keep the head of theshaft together, it would not allow the patient tomove much for the first three days. He now keptpatients in the ward for eight weeks, and thenallowed them up only if there was obvious evidenceof new bony development at the seat of the fracture.He believed that this was a life-saving method.Mr. Chance and he had discovered a good manytechnical points in common. The guide-wire should t

never be extracted until the pin had got a goodgrasp of the head, and then the pin could be drawnout. The method he used was that of Hey Groves.There was only 1 case out of his 33 in which theapparatus had been at fault. It was essential tomake certain that the inner pin was put down onthe inner head of the femur and not on the line offracture. This method of treatment was really verysimple provided one had a good radiologist to helpone at the operation, and also an assistant. It was

necessary to have a really good team working together.

MEMORIAL TO A COUNTRY DOCTOR.-A stained-glass window has been placed in the Ceiriog MemorialInstitute at Glynceiriog, Denbighshire, as a tributeto John Matthews Jones of Coed-y-Glyn who for thirtyyears practised in this valley. The window, whichwas designed by Mr. J. A. Crombie, A.R.C., has threelights and depicts the doctor paying a visit to a farmsteadin the valley. Dr. Jones died in 1923.