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

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Walthamstow 1909

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Walthamstow]

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The cubicle block continues to be of the very greatest value in securing
thoroughly efficient and economical isolation of mixed and doubtful cases.
During the past year 132 patients (i.e., 25 per cent. of the cases
admitted) were treated wholly or in part in this block of 12 beds.
It is unfortunately not possible to give statistics relating to the
results of treatment in the cubicles as compared with the general
wards, nor to give any idea of the possible effect of separate isolation
on the number of return cases. There is, as a rule, such a demand on
the accommodation in this block, that septic and doubtful cases have
to be moved to the convalescent wards as soon as possible, so that only
a part of their time is spent in the cubicles, and they are, therefore,
almost useless for purpose of comparison.
In spite of the varied nature of the cases, and the high infectivity of
some of the diseases treated—such as Chicken Pox and Mumps—no
case of infection being carried from one cubicle to another has occurred.
From the following diagram the cases actually in the cubicles on
June 20th, 1909, are shown, and the possibilities of such a ward may
be appreciated.
It is taken at random from a number of such records, and was
not specially chosen in any way, except that it was made when the
cubicles were all occupied.
R.L.—Admitted as Diptheria, symptoms suggest Scarlet Fever only.
H.C.-Is suffering from Diphtheria, but has shown some desquamation very
suggestive of Scarlet Fever also.
D.A.—Admitted as Diphtheria, proved to be suffering from S.F. only; very septic.
J.F.—Scarlet Fever symptoms on admission, were suggestive of Measles.
E.F.—Scarlet Fever; septic; has purulent conjuncturlis.
D.N.—Scarlet Fever + Diphtheria.
E.E.—Diptheria, but was convalescent from Whooping Cough on admission.
D.P.—Scarlet Fever, complicated by acute nephritis.
E.W.—Scarlet Fever, complicated by acute nephritis.
O.L.—-Scarlet Fever + Diphtheria.
S.G.—Admitted as Scarlet Fever; two days after admission developed measles rash.
M.A.—Scarlet Fever; other members of family have measles at present.

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