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HOUSE OF REFORMATION.
Patients remaining in this hospital, May 1, 1871,
Remaining in hospital, May 1, 1872
Largest number in hospital at any one time
House of Industry
Whole number of patients in hospitals, May 1, 1871,
DISEASES IN HOUSE OF REFORMATION.
Feverish, 34; abscess, 27; ophthalmia, 16; diarrhœa, 15; pneumonia, 12; tonsillitis, 10; skin disease, 7; consumption, typhoid fever, mumps and contusion, each 5; bronchitis and ulcer, each 4; sprain and anæmia, each 3; incised wound, scrofula, cholera-morbus, dyspepsia, wry-neck, rheumatism, Bright's disease, varioloid and pharyngitis, each 2; incontinence of urine, pleurisy, erysipelas, crushed finger, dysentery, chilblains, colic, frost-bite and unknown, each 1. Only one death has occurred in this department during the year, Michael Browne, suddenly, on May 21, 1871, disease unknown.
Largest number in hospitals at any one time
There has been no remarkable or serious illness prevalent in either of the institutions during the past year. The whole number treated in hospital has been much larger than in any former year, due in part probably to the increase of population in the institutions; but with few exceptions the nature of the complaints has not differed materially from that of the past few years. In the Almshouse a small proportion of the patients are young or middle-aged people, without means to support even a brief illness in the city, who
come here with acute diseases, and after a few days' or weeks' treatment, return to their occupations in the city. The majority, however, are chronic cases which have been treated for years in the city, and finally come here, feeble and disheartened, and remain in the hospitals, in many instances, through the entire year. Not a few are sent here from the hospitals in the city, feeble and chronic, under the impression that the atmosphere of the Island will prove beneficial. These cases, however, generally increase our mortality.
In the House of Industry the greater part of the complaints are of an acute character and short duration. Intemperance, as will be seen by the figures above given, still holds a prominent position in the list of diseases in this department, although its proportion has not increased.
In the House of Reformation, while we have had the usual routine of slight ills, diseases of a serious nature have been comparatively rare. Two cases of varioloid occurred in the girls' school last winter, the cause of which seemed obscure. They were immediately removed from the school and isolated. Both cases were so light as to require no treatment in bed. Cases of varioloid are occasionally found in the House of Industry, and it is a matter of chance that we get so few when it is considered that many of our daily arrivals come immediately from districts where small-pox exists and drunken revelries supersede caution. But with our facilities for immediate discovery and removal of such cases it would be almost impossible for the disease to spread in the institutions, which the history of the past has conclusively proved. I should be remiss in duty if I did not mention the fact that the number of adult poor and prisoners treated in hospital is at least double that which the rooms can comfortably accommodate ; for instance, in the attics we have in each ten small rooms, with two single beds in each room; this arrangement will accommodate in one ward 20 patients only; but the daily average in this
ward for the last year has been (paupers 11, prisoners 30) 41, with an occasional number as high as 55. This necessitates the placing of some of the most quiet and deserving poor in the same ward with prisoners, the feeblest consumptive, helpless paralytic, or dangerous fever patient in the same ward with noisy intemperance, raving delirium tremens and treacherous insane.
There are generally more patients upon mattresses on the floor than upon standing beds.
The result is that the benefit of classifying and separating these widely different cases is lost, diseases often protracted, convalescence retarded, and a constant and natural complaint among the patients.
Six years ago the number of patients treated in these three hospitals in sixteen months was 594 (Annual Report of 1865). At that time the wards seemed to be full.
During the twelve months just past, however, there have been 1,753 patients treated in these same wards, unenlarged; and hundreds more have been sent to their cells in the prison to lie down for want of possible room in hospital.
I am aware that the superintendent cannot possibly furnish more room for hospital accommodations under the same roof, with the present overcrowded condition of the institutions. I would sincerely thank him for the interest manifested in daily visits through the wards, and the facilities often given me while in the discharge of the arduous duties of these hospitals. The number of deaths during the year has been small compared with the last seven years.
The appointment of an assistant resident physician one year ago supplied a want which has grown to an actual necessity in doing the work, and I would express, through you, my sincere thanks to the Board of Directors for this additional aid. I would also express a full appreciation of the valuable assistance rendered by Dr. J. Henry Davenport,