« PreviousContinue »
THURSDAY, December 13, 1894.
The hearing was resumed at 4 o'clock P.M., Chairman HALLSTRAM presiding.
RESIGNATION OF MR. CURTIS AS COUNSEL.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair has received a letter, which the clerk will read.
The clerk read the following:
CHARLES W. HALLSTRAM, Esq., Chairman of the Committec of the whole Board
of Aldermen, City Hall, Boston: DEAR SIR, In view of the new relations which I am about to assume to members of this committee and to the departments of the city of Boston, I deem it expedient that I should take no further part in the proceedings relating to the investigation of the public institutions. I therefore give you notice that I shall no longer act as counsel in the matter. I take this action with the full approval of my clients, they believing that it can in no way prejudice the case before your committee.
EDWIN U. CURTIS.
Mr. REED called Dr. Maurice H. Richardson.
Mr. BRANDEIS. Do you want to call Dr. Richardson before we have concluded with Dr. Cogswell?
Mr. REED. — Yes, I desire to call Dr. Richardson at this time. His time is valuable and he is anxious to get away.
Mr. BRANDEIS. Well, I an) willing to accommodate him.
Mr. REED. — I thought, Brother Brandies, that you had finished with Dr. Cogswell, with the exception of the lists that were given in by the nurse that you wished to ask him about.
Mr. BRANDEIS. — No, there are some other questions I wish to ask him, too.
Mr.'REED. — Then I misunderstood you. I thought you had finished your cross-examination and had turned him over to me for redirect.
Mr. RILEY. — I have some questions to put to him, too.
Mr. REED. Well, I don't know as I will let you ask him some questions.
Mr. RILEY. - I won't ask your permission.
Q. (By Mr. REED.) Your full name, please, doctor?
Q. What year did you graduate from the Harvard Medical School?
A. The Massachnsetts Medical Society, four or five Boston Societies, and the American Surgical Association. I think that is all.
Q. Have you any official connection with any hospital in Boston or elsewhere?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. What hospital or hospitals in Boston are you officially connected with ?
A. I am visiting surgeon at the Massachusetts General Hospital and consulting surgeon to three Boston hospitals and to one or two others outside of Boston.
Q. Will you kindly name the others outside of Boston, if you can recall them?
A. The State Alinshouse at Tewksbury, the Fitchburg Hospital -- I think one or two others, but I don't remember. I was consulting surgeon at the Waltham Hospital -- I don't know whether I am now or not.
Q. Have you ever seen the hospital at Long Island ?
A. I didn't go upstairs. I went through the first floor of the hospital building, through all the wards.
Q. The institution building, you mean ?
Q. What should you say was the character of the diseases then being treated in the hospital ?
4. They were chronic diseases, not acute.
Q. Not acute. What was the condition of the hospital as to cleanliness?
A. It was clean, very clean.
Q. Did you make any examination of the equipment of the hospital as to bedding, surgical instruments, medicines, etc.?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And what was your judgment as to the sufficiency of the equipment?
A. I thought it very good and sufficient.
Q. Now, as to the nursing required by the patients who were there, did you make any inquiries as to what nursing they received ?
A. Yes, sir.
Ă. There was everything necessary for minor surgery and for emergencies.
Q. Did you visit the pharmacy ?
A. There was a large variety of medicines and the pharmacy was clean. Everything seemed all right.
Q. Were you informed as to the medical staff, the number of physicians ?
Å. Yes, sir.
Q. And what was the number of physicians, if you remember, at the time you first visited the hospital?
A. There were the physician-in-chief, the first assistant, and two assistants, making four in all.
Q. Now, in your judgment, was that a sufficient number of doctor's to attend to the sick people there properly?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. In your judgment, Dr. Richardson, after your examination of the place and what you saw there, should you say that a physician-in-chief and two assistant physicians would be a sufficient number to give wedical treatment to those people?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. How did you form your judgment — from looking at the food, or did you sample any of it?
A. I tried the food both times I was there.
Å. I went to the main dining-room and to the kitchen where the food was prepared. They were at dinner the first visit, and I tasted what there was for dinner. I thought it was good -- good enough for anybody.
Q. Well, do you remember what they had for dinner that day?
A. They had bread, and fish chowder, and tea. My attention was called to the food because one of the men there said it wasn't fit to eat, and I went out into the kitchen and got a bowl of the chowder and I ate it. I thought it was good chowder. The bread was good, sweet, and I made a lunch of the bread and chowder. I didn't take the tea. no judge of tea. On another visit I tried the beefsteak, and whatever they had there in the hospital in the - I think it was off the ward for men. They had beefsteak there, and potatoes, bread
I forget anything else. The meat was, I should say, from the round. I didn't see anything the matter with it.
Q. How was the air in the hospital ? Was the ventilation good or bad ?
A. The hospital is very free from what is callad hospital odor. It was very good, I think. That was partly due to the fact that the cases were chronic, I think. There weren't any sores and things of that kind to make a smell, or, at least, if there were any there were not enough to contaminate the air. The only case that smelled bad was in a room by itself. There was one case that was very disagreeable of gangrene of the mouth and the throat, and that was isolated, very properly, and there were two idiotic boys isolated. All the other cases were ward cases of different kinds. Q. When was your second visit ?
That was on the 7th of November. Q. The 7th of November last? 4. Yes, sir.
Q. Now, what was the condition of the place at that time as to cleanliness?
A. There was nothing different between the two visits that I recall. I was going to say that the instruments were in a glass case instead of being in drawers on the second visit, in the operating-room.
Q Then on your first visit you found the instruments in drawers in the operating-room?
A. Yes, sir.
4. They were, where you could see them easily, pick them out without opening drawers and hunting:
Q. Was there any change in regard to the bedding that you noticed
A. No, sir.
Q. Did you make an examination of the bedding at the second visit?
A. Yes, sir; the beds on both visits were the same. The beds are woven wire mattresses, woven wire springs. The mattress was made of either excelsior or something of that kind. I don't know exactly what it was – didn't cut the mattress open — and there were blankets and unbleached linen sheets, I should say unbleached in the beginning, and a spread the regular hospital bed.
Q. Was your attention called to the night-dresses used for the woman?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Now, I would like to ask you if you consider those garments proper for the purposes for which they are used?
A. Yes, sir; they are made of cotton, and the only thing I noticed was that they were not ironed, I think. They were probably mangled.
Q. But not ironed ?
Q. But the shape and size of the garments was what I had reference particularly to.
d. Yes, sir; they were short, I should say, as I remember itrather short, but they were clean and made of unbleached cotton, I should think.
Q. You visited the hospital, I presume, at the request of the superintendent, Dr. Cogswell, did you not?
A. I did; yes, sir; both times.
Q. And did you find any evidences of preparations for your visit at either time?
d. No, sir; unless being perfectly clean is an evidence. Everything was neat and clean at that time and at both times. There was no evidence one way or the other except that the place was clean.
Q. You are acquainted with the superintendent and know his standing in the profession, do you not?
4. Yes, sir; I have known him since he entered the Medical School ?
Q. Well, would you care to tell us what his standing in the profession is?
4. His standing is good, always has been.
Q. Now, from your inspection of that hospital I would like to have you tell the committee what your judgment is as to the building, the fitness of the building, and as to the equipment for the treatment of the patients that are cared for there and as to the management whether or not it is a proper hospital for the purpose and whether or not, so far as you know, it is properly managed?
4. Yes, sir; I think the hospital is a good one, and I think the management is good, as far as I can judge. The hospital is very clean, as als hospitals ought to be. There was a room for isolation, there was a ward for women, for men, a ward for confinement cases, and everything seemed to be kept well. The patients looked well. The inmates looked well fed, well nourished, unless there was some disease to pull them down.
Q. Did you say, doctor, that you were one of the consulting physicians at Tewksbury?
A. Yes, sir- consulting surgeon. I am a surgeon, not a physician,
Q. In your judgment would a staff of consulting surgeons be necessary for the proper management of the hospital at Long Island ?
A. I think that is a matter which depends somewhat on the cases – either a board of consulting surgeons or physicians or some one to be called upon in emergencies or in critical cases. I don't know that it makes much difference whether you have a board or whether you call upon some une in extra cases. I have been down at the institutions more or less for the last ten years — nerer at Long Island - in cases of great severity. critical cases. I never have been at Long Island. But emergencies might arise, cases night come up there which couldn't be sent to the city and which the assistants there would not be able to oper
In such cases you could have a consulting board or you could call down a surgeon from the city or a physiciani, as they do at the other institutions.
Q. Well, then, if the superintendent of the institution were allowed to call a surgeon or physician in consultation whenever needed, in your judgment would that be as well for the institution as a board of consulting physicians and surgeons ?
A. It would be the same.
Others are active. Some of my positions as consulting surgeon are honorary, others are active. In some institutions I may be only called in the most desperate cases, in other hospitals I may be called in consultation in all grave cases. In others I am not called at all, except in some questions of hospital management.
Q. Well, what is the fact in regard to Tewksbury?
A. In Tewksbury I am one of the consulting board and that board consists of a number of men. Most of the active work on that board is done in Lowell. I have operated there twice.
Q. At the Tewksbury Hospital?
A. Since the board was formed - twice at least, possibly three times, once soon after I was appointed and the other about two weeks ago. But these cases were cases of very great severity, very rare cases, and so they sent for me.
Q. How long have you been on that board?
A. Since the organization of the board. I don't know how long it is. I should guess it to be five or six years perhaps, perhaps not as long as that. It is a board of activity, in that they have called me twice at least in the last four or five years. Others, I think, are called more frequently.