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JAMA 100 Years Ago
August 6, 2008


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2008;300(5):593. doi:10.1001/jama.300.5.593-a

The report of Dr. W. C. White, medical director of the Tuberculosis League of Pittsburg, contains a suggestion that is worthy of attention by those interested in the fight against tuberculosis. “Many patients,” he says, “feel that it is absolutely impossible for them to give up work, mainly because they are the sole support of a family. These could be cared for in a night camp, where they could sleep out of doors, secure a good supper and breakfast, careful instruction and supervision, and yet continue their labors.” The suggestions given by physicians and nurses as to the care of consumptive patients are often unheeded or imperfectly carried out because of the ignorance or carelessness of the other members of the family. The patient who must work is often so tired that he is unable to do those things for himself which the physician advises. He can be under the direct supervision of the physician and nurse but a few hours a week at most. By means of the tuberculosis night camp he could be brought under the control of the antituberculosis agencies for more than half his time, and the regulation of his life could be accomplished much more efficiently than by the occasional visits of the nurse or of the physician. In the neighborhood of every large city there are tracts of land where such camps could be established at small cost, and the workers domiciled there could go to their work in the morning refreshed by the pure air and strengthened by the good food provided by the camp. Not only would such patients be able to fight the disease longer, even if they should succumb eventually, but the contagion to their families would be removed.