Cullen

The Consultation Letters of Dr William Cullen (1710-1790) at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

 

[ID:4108] From: Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen) / To: Mr James Wood (of Berwick) / Regarding: Mr Potts (Patient), Mr Bell (Master Bell) (Patient) / 19 August 1777 / (Outgoing)

Reply to 'Mr James Wood Surgeon at Berwick C. Messrs Potts & Bell', with much discussion of the value, or otherwise, of cold bathing.

Facsimile

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Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 4108
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/1/9/81
Main Language English
Document Direction Outgoing
Date19 August 1777
Annotation None
TypeScribal copy ( includes Casebook Entry)
Enclosure(s) No enclosure(s)
Autopsy No
Recipe Yes
Regimen No
Letter of Introduction No
Case Note No
Summary Reply to 'Mr James Wood Surgeon at Berwick C. Messrs Potts & Bell', with much discussion of the value, or otherwise, of cold bathing.
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting No

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:372]
Case of Master Bell, an infant with paralysis of the legs after a fever.
4
[Case ID:521]
Case of Mr Potts who may have gout.
3


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:1]AuthorDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:408]AddresseeMr James Wood (of Berwick)
[PERS ID:1669]PatientMr Bell (Master Bell)
[PERS ID:1534]PatientMr Potts
[PERS ID:1]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:408]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryMr James Wood (of Berwick)

Places linked to this document

Role in document Specific Place Settlements / Areas Region Country Global Region Confidence
Place of Writing Cullen's House / Mint Close Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe certain
Destination of Letter Berwick-upon-Tweed (Berwick) North-East England Europe inferred

Normalized Text

[Page 1]

Mr Jas Wood Surgeon at Berwick Concerning Messrs Potts & Bell


Mr Potts -- I find the same gouty Disposition still
working in him, tho I think he has less trouble from it,
than could be expected, but he is still very weakly and
were it not for the Regimen and Measures he has
pursued he would have been & would be much worse.
The thing just now to be wished for is, that he should be
made Stronger & thereby enabled to resist the many little
vicissitudes he is liable to. -- For this he very properly
wishes to try cold bathing & if it could be applied with
safety it would certainly be of service to him but the
more I think of it the more doubts I have about the
safety of it. He is at present affected with frequent
& great sweatings of his feet which shows a tendency
in his constitution to throw matter upon the Extremities



[Page 2]

and I am persuaded that it relieves him from disorders
he would otherwise be liable to & the stopping this
sweating b might be very dangerous. I am much
afraid that cold bathing might have this affect &
therefore cannot by any means advise it -- After
considering the matter frequently since yesterday I must
conclude that Mr Potts must be satisfied to pursue
the Regimen & Exercise he has hitherto done &
wait some favorable turn which his constitu¬
tion may take. The only advice I can further advise
is, that as soon as the warm weather is over he should
enter on a Course of the following Medicines --

Take 5 grains of prepared Red chalybeate, ten grains of Powdered Cinnamon and fifteen grains of sugar. Mix. Make into a powder for dividing into twenty-eight doses. One of these powders to be taken twice a day in a little currant jelly & washed down with a small cupfull of a Bark Infusion - ---


This Course should be begun at furthest the beginning
of October. It should be continued for a fortnight only
at one time, but should be repeated at intervals 3
or 4 times in the Course of Winter & Spring.


For Mr Bells child I thought from the beginning
that it would be tedious, but still I think it is



[Page 3]

not to be despaired of. The Childs growing is a
favourable Symptom tho it may retard the recovery
of his limbs -- This may is chiefly to be expected from
time, but I think it may be certainly forwarded by
cold bathing & frictions. I think the heat that is
often observed in the
hands need not hinder the cold
bathing & there is nothing necessary to be observed
but the quick recovery of the heat after bathing
It is not improper to wrap the limbs in flannel
after bathing & ever to lay the Child in bed till
the heat is recovered but the carrying that to a
sweat I think superfluous & may be hurtful.
I believe that bathing in Salt Water is better than
fresh; but it is not necessary to be at any inconve¬
nience for this as a handfull or two of Salt thrown
into the fresh Water will answer as well.


frictions formerly advised to be diligently continued
There may be a little before & after the bathing in
drying the limbs; but it should be practised for a longer
time some time in the Afternoone. Fresh air &
Exercise very proper & it will be best in
some wheel machine drawn by
the hand 1


Edinburgh 19th. August 1777.

Notes:

1: This indicates some sort of wheeled, hand-drawn cart or what might now be called "a buggy".

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]

Mr Jas Wood Surgeon at Berwick C. Messrs Potts & Bell


Mr Potts -- I find the same gouty Disposition still
working in him, tho I think he has less trouble from it,
than could be expected, but he is still very weakly and
were it not for the Regimen and Measures he has
pursued he would have been & would be much worse.
The thing just now to be wished for is, that he should be
made Stronger & thereby enabled to resist the many little
vicissitudes he is liable to. -- For this he very properly
wishes to try cold bathing & if it could be applied with
safety it would certainly be of service to him but the
more I think of it the more doubts I have about the
safety of it. He is at present affected with frequent
& great sweatings of his feet which shows a tendency
in his constitution to throw matter upon the Extremities



[Page 2]

and I am persuaded that it relieves him from disorders
he would otherwise be liable to & the stopping this
sweating b might be very dangerous. I am much
afraid that cold bathing might have this affect &
therefore cannot by any means advise it -- After
considering the matter frequently since yesterday I must
conclude that Mr Potts must be satisfied to pursue
the Regimen & Exercise he has hitherto done &
wait some favorable turn which his constitu¬
tion may take. The only advice I can further advise
is, that as soon as the warm weather is over he should
enter on a Course of the following Medicines --


Rubig chalyb. pptt gr v Cinnamo. Pulv. gr X
Sacchar alb. duriss gr XV. ℳ. f. Pulvis et f. h. m. dos.
№ xxviij One of these Powders to be taken twice a
day in a little currant jelly & washed down with
a small cupfull of a Bark Infusion - ---


This Course should be begun at furthest the beginning
of October. It should be continued for a fortnight only
at one time, but should be repeated at intervals 3
or 4 times in the Course of Winter & Spring.


For Mr Bells child I thought from the beginning
that it would be tedious, but still I think it is



[Page 3]

not to be despaired of. The Childs growing is a
favourable Symptom tho it may retard the recovery
of his limbs -- This may is chiefly to be expected from
time, but I think it may be certainly forwarded by
cold bathing & frictions. I think the heat that is
often observed in the
hands need not hinder the cold
bathing & there is nothing necessary to be observed
but the quick recovery of the heat after bathing
It is not improper to wrap the limbs in flannel
after bathing & ever to lay the Child in bed till
the heat is recovered but the carrying that to a
sweat I think superfluous & may be hurtful.
I believe that bathing in Salt Water is better than
fresh; but it is not necessary to be at any inconve¬
nience for this as a handfull or two of Salt thrown
into the fresh Water will answer as well.


frictions formerly advised to be diligently continued
There may be a little before & after the bathing in
drying the limbs; but it should be practised for a longer
time some time in the Afternoone. Fresh air &
Exercise very proper & it will be best in
some wheel machine drawn by
the hand 1


Edr. 19th. Aug. 1777.

Notes:

1: This indicates some sort of wheeled, hand-drawn cart or what might now be called "a buggy".

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