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

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West Ham 1946

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for West Ham]

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cysts were treated by incision, 4 under local anaesthesia and
1 under general anaethesia by arrangement with the Senior
Dental Surgeon, who administered gas to my patient for this
minor operation.
Some cases were referred to hospital, namely, 13 cases of
squint, for operation, 3 other conditions requiring operative
treatment, and 3 with fundi lesions, for a second opinion. Owing
to the long hospital waiting list, only 2 of these cases of squint
had their operation performed during 1946.
The above report refers only to the work carried out for
school children, although the work of the Eye Clinic includes
the examination and treatment of children from the Maternity
and Child Welfare Department.
DEFECTIVE COLOUR VISION. The test for this defect
has only been carried out in the case of children attending
grammar and other higher schools, and for those children who
propose entering services where correct colour discrimination is
necessary. Defective colour vision is of fairly frequent occurrence
in males, reaching almost one in every twenty; among girls
it occurs very much less frequently, below one in two
hundred. A condition that occurs among boys so frequently as
this, and that involves to such an extent incapacity for the
performance of various kinds of work, is clearly of importance.

At the examination held at the Grammar and High Schools the following results were obtained:—

Number examinedNumber defectivePercentage defective
Boys907444.85
Girls1,19710.08
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NOSE AND THROAT DEFECTS. Arrangements are
made with two local hospitals for the operative treatment of
tonsil and adenoid defects. In each case the children are
admitted as in-patients. After discharge from hospital, the
children are followed up at home by the school nurse, and are
later re-inspected by the school doctors. Any subsequent treatment
which may be required is then arranged. During the year,
356 operations were performed for these conditions, and 19
children received treatment by private practitioners or in hospitals
outside the Authority's scheme. In addition to these children
who had operative treatment, 88 children were successfully
treated by local applications and similar methods at the minor
ailment clinics.
EAR DISEASES AND DEFECTIVE HEARING. During
the year 480 children were treated at the school clinics for
various conditions affecting the ears. Cases which received
treatment privately or at hospitals numbered 28. There is at
present no special clinic for diseases of the ear, nose and throat,
70


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