A Treatise on the Eclectic Southern Practice of Medicine Page: 53 of 724
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patient before my arrival; he said he had cough and
was spitting up some blood, which fact he viewed as
conclusive that his lungs were the seat of disease. .He
had acute pain in the side, which was aggravated by
percussion; pulse full and strong, some fever, and con-
siderable thirst; a slight crepitous-rale was observed by
the aid of the stethoscope. My friend's diagnosis was,
that this man had pneumonia; his reasoning was
very correct from principle, but if he had examined
the exterior, he would have found, as I did, a fracture
of the ribs, and he would have avoided his error. I hope
this one illustration will point out the necessity for a
close and rigid examination; every symptom should be
noted, and when your examination is over, every symp-
tom should be studied one by one in the order in which
they presented from the commencement of the attack,
to the period when the patient comes under your charge.
Having ascertained the affected organ, your next and
most immediate object will be to ascertain the nature of
the disease of which it is the seat. This is the import-
ant consideration, and the difficulty is generally occa-
sioned by the want of anatomical examinations carefully
conducted at different periods of the same disease.
When you have ascertained the organ which is the seat
of disease, the prognosis will then present itself for your
consideration, and in arriving at a just prognosis, you
must take into consideration the amount of fever pre-
sent, the age, the idiosyncrasy and strength of your
The pulse is an important consideration, and it must
be attentively and deliberately examined. Great atten-
tention must be paid to the alimentary canal; and
recollect that a slight inflammatory affection at the
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Massie, J. Cam. A Treatise on the Eclectic Southern Practice of Medicine, book, 1854; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143817/m1/53/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.