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February 5, 1887


JAMA. 1887;VIII(6):148-149. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02391310008001c

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A few years ago I learned and published the secret method of treating piles employed by certain itinerants. The secret was sold from one quack to another at a high price, and consists generally in the hypodermic injection of various mixtures of carbolic acid. The hopes of many physicians that the method might prove a useful one, were greatly dampened by the discovery of about eighteen deaths out of some 3000 reported cases, and of very alarming symptoms in other instances; in short, it was the same fatal experience as that which previously put a stop to the injection of venous enlargements in other parts of the body.

Of late the Lake States are being treated to a new development; the little itinerant hypodermic syringe has budded and blossomed like Aaron's rod, and evolved little boxes of instruments and little books full of secret instructions, in short, little "systems" of

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