London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Leyton 1903

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Leyton]

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There is nothing to report beyond the very satisfactory fact that
the children were in 1903 a remarkably healthy lot.
This year the Infirmary, in which the Medical Superintendent is
Dr. E. Vallance, commenced taking in patients on July 1st, and from
that date to the end of the year there were—
2051 Admissions.
1140 Discharged.
274 Deaths.
There are in the Infirmary 672 beds, all of which, except 40, being
occupied. There are also 56 beds for male phthisis and 24 for female
phthisis patients, and the former have always been full. The staff
consists of 90 nurses and a hundred other officials, while no pauper
help is allowed in the establishment. I am very pleased to be able to
note that phthisis is receiving special treatment, the accommodation
for patients being of an exceptionally up-to-date kind.
There is one point I desire to emphasise while dealing with this
most up-to-date institution, and that is the immediate need for an
isolation block. There is at present no place in which to isolate
infectious cases, such as scarlet fever, diphtheria and similarly
infectious diseases. It is most surprising, considering the area of
the site, that no provisions were specially made for the treatment of
such cases.
In addition to the bedding from infected houses, several lots
of bedding have been disinfected from houses where deaths have
occurred from Phthisis, Dropsy and Cancer, also several public and
private schools, public conveyances such as cabs that have been
inadvertently used to remove cases to public Hospitals, which have
afterwards proved to be infectious cases.
The STEAM DISINFECTOR has been in use now for some
years and is still working in a most satisfactory manner. I am still of
opinion it is the best in the market.
Army blankets that had been exposed to infection from Typhoid
in South Africa found their way to the Home of the Good Shepherd,
Leytonstone. Not a very large quantity, but some twenty-five of
them. They were removed, disinfected, and afterwards returned by
the Home authorities to the dealers.

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