A Treatise on the Eclectic Southern Practice of Medicine Page: 68 of 724
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ances that would demand attention in forming an
opinion as to the probable event of diseases.
Critical days.-The ancients imagined that a crisis
occurred particularly on, certain days at which promi-
nent changes are wont to occur. We have yet some
modern authors who contend for the same. It is a
vulgar notion that prevailed amongst ancient physicians,
and they have come down to us and still " linger among
the vulgar." Some persons say they observe these
things; but I'cannot say that I have ever noticed the
disease to terminate on one day in preference to another.
The reason we do not observe what the ancients did, is
said to be, that we are more active in practice than they
were. We do not let nature take her course, but en-
deavor to knock a morbid process on the head; and we
save five patients where they saved one. We allow
diseases to run on a much shorter 'period than they
were accustomed to do; and some ascribe the want of
critical days to our active practice. To show the inef-
ficacy of the practice of the ancients, Broussais asserts,
that an account of thirty cases of acute diseases is men-
tioned, in which eighteen patients died, and the other
twelve suffered much afterwards. It must have been bad
practice to lose eighteen acute cases out of thirty. Sir Gil-
bert Blane says, out of forty-two cases of acute diseases,
thirty-seven of which were continued fever without local
affection, and five with local affection, of these twenty-
five died, twenty-one of the thirty-seven, and four out of
the five. If nature had an inclination to perform her
cures on certain days, she had there a fine opportunity;
but at the present day we so interrupt her course that I
have never observed critical days.
Critical H morrhages.-This is always the result of
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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/m1/68/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.