Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: dysentery

  • Andersonville, Georgia and Elmira, New York: When Hell was on Earth

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” — Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy   Andersonville Prison, Georgia. South end view of the stockade, showing the sentry stands in the distance. Photographed by A.J. Riddle, August 17, 1864. Library of Congress Liljenquist Family Collection. No known restrictions on publication. Elmira Prison, Elmira,…

  • Infectious diseases in the Civil War

    Lloyd Klein San Francisco, California, United States The main cause of death during the American Civil War was not battle injury but disease. About two-thirds of the 620,000 deaths of Civil War soldiers were caused by disease, including 63% of Union fatalities. Only 19% of Union soldiers died on the battlefield and 12% later succumbed to…

  • Epidemic cholera and Joseph William Bazalgette

    JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom     Fig 1. Joseph Bazalgette. Photo by Lock & Whitfield. 1877. National Portrait Gallery London. Via Wikimedia Rampant epidemics of cholera took many lives in the Victorian era. These epidemics were finally overcome with the discovery that cholera was a waterborne infection and by massive reconstruction of the…

  • Book review: Medicine in the Middle Ages

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, United Kingdom In the history of Western Europe, the Middle Ages refers to the period between the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century through the beginning of the Renaissance in the 1500s. These thousand years were characterized by unstable nation-states led by kings and nobility. Tribalism was rife, and…

  • Dr. Susan LaFlesche Picotte: tradition, assimilation, and healing

    Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   Fig 1. Susan La Flesche Picotte. 1889. Drexel University College of Medicine Legacy Center Archives & Special Collections. Published with permission. “My office hours are any and all hours of the day and night.” — Susan LaFlesche Picotte1   It was August of 1889 and Dr. Susan LaFlesche Picotte…

  • Malaria in defeat and victory

    Richard J. E. BrownYorkshire, England, United Kingdom A few weeks ago, in the reading room of the National Archives in London, I came across the war diary of a British medical unit of the Second World War. This particular unit, No.1 Malaria Field Laboratory, Royal Army Medical Corps, had been posted to the eastern Mediterranean…

  • Review: The History of the World in 100 Pandemics, Plagues and Epidemics

    Arpan Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover: The History of the World in 100 pandemics, plagues and epidemics. The publication of this book could not have been better timed. The book sets out to show how pandemics, epidemics, and infectious diseases have shaped human history over the last 5,000 years. Its contents help us place…

  • George Crile Sr., founder of the Cleveland Clinic

    Portrait of G. W. Crile. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0) Early days George Crile was an exceptional man, a skilled surgeon who lived at a time when American medicine was emerging from its horse and buggy period and was embracing the principles of aseptic surgery and scientific medicine. Always full of new ideas, he was…

  • Henrik Ibsen’s diagnosis of the conscience

    Sally MetzlerChicago, Illinois, United States Dr. Thomas Stockmann, the protagonist in Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 play, An Enemy of the People, thought he had finally landed the ideal position as physician for an idyllic Norwegian resort town. He was well-paid and well-connected; his brother was even the mayor. Life and livelihood centered on the public baths…

  • Death by Dysentery? Artist Frank Russell Wadsworth in Madrid

    Sally Metzler Chicago, Illinois, United States   Frank Russell Wadsworth (1874-1905) A River Lavadero, 1905, Oil on canvas, Union League Club Chicago Though he basked in the Spanish sun, the summer warmth would be his downfall, indeed his early death. Artist Frank Russell Wadsworth of Chicago gravitated towards the vivid colors and picturesque river banks…