Hints from the Health Department. Leaflet from the archive of the Society of Medical Officers of Health. Credit: Wellcome Collection, London
[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Croydon]
It is well known that Tuberculosis officers do not see many of
the new cases in the early stages of the disease. The trouble about
early diagnosis is that the disease can hardly ever be detected until it
has begun to produce symptoms and not always with certainty even
then. The insidious onset of Pulmonary Tuberculosis and the fact
that often considerable damage to the lungs is present before any
definite symptoms develop makes it very difficult to detect it in its
early stages. In the majority of cases, once symptoms have
developed, the disease cannot be regarded as in an early stage.
The initiative to seek treatment when ill rests with the patient
himself, and the remedy partly lies in the education of the public
as to the symptoms and common dangers of Tuberculosis and the
need for securing early treatment. It is unfortunate that 60.2%
of the new cases were more or less advanced in the disease.
There were 28 cases examined at the Clinic and found to have
Non-pulmonary Tuberculosis in the following forms:—
Bones and Joints 14
Other Organs 1
Peripheral Glands 10
Tables XVII. and XVIII. summarise the condition of all
patients whose records are at the Clinic at the end of 1934. These
tables show that of patients who came under treatment for Pulmonary
Tuberculosis before 1926, 386 adults and 106 children have
been discharged as recovered. Of these all but 15 were early cases.
Of the 1926 cases, 22 adults, of the 1927 cases 23 adults and 2
children, and of the 1928 cases 20 adults, have recovered.
Of patients who first attended in 1934, 10 have been lost sight
or otherwise removed from the Clinic Register. Of the 1933
cases 33 were lost sight of.
Of patients who attended prior to 1926, 249 adults and 14
children are known to have died; since 1926, 792 adults and 16
children are known to have died. Of patients attending for the
first time in 1934 37 have died.