The Health Front

Today's Terrors are Tomorrow's History

New knee-lock device for artificial legs consists of hydraulic brake built into artificial leg and activated by either heel or toe of artificial foot. Not ready for distribution yet, but has never failed in exhaustive tests made (A. J. Hosmer Lab.) and is said to be "foolproof" even if its owner is jostled while off guard. Lock goes into effect automatically whenever body leans backward or far forward-conditions under which falling might occur. Is so strong that wearer can lift his other leg and balance on hydraulic leg with knee bent to any angle.

Artificial work arm for factory or farm workers is also being revised and improved by Hosmer Lab. (original model was made available to vets through hospitals). One addition is wrapped spring clutch elbow control, which permits locking or releasing of elbow joint at any position. Principal features of arm are ability to carry heavy weights without breaking down, and numerous interchangeable attachments.

Leprosy has apparently yielded to one of the sulfone drugs, promin. U. S. Marine Hospital at Carville has discharged as cured 19 patients treated with the new drug.

Uremia, a disease of the kidney which makes it impossible to remove poisonous wastes, has been considered incurable. But doctors have been experimenting by washing out body cavities so that poisons will not seep through the membranes. With salt-dextrose solutions, poisons normally accumulated in 24 hours can be disposed of in four hours. Process is painless under local anaesthetic. Drs. H. A. Frank, A. Seligman and J. Fine are credited with being first to save a life by use of this process.

Venereal Disease Campaign: The Government's 10 year campaign to control VD has, according to a recent report, shown such results as the following: Syphilis cases dropped from 500,000 to 220,000 a year. Infant deaths from syphilis halved. Rise in civilian disease which accompanies every war held down for first time in World War II (postwar rise now in progress however). Most states now require premarriage or prenatal blood tests, or both. New penicillin treatments provide rapid cure which can almost wipe out venereal disease-if public cooperates. Syphilis treatment requires only eight days, $52.; gonorrhea one or two days, $13.

Insulin and Alcoholics: Method of curing patients simply by gradually withdrawing alcohol may be superseded by diets high in calories and vitamins, plenty of fruit juices, injections of vitamini B1 (for those showing signs of tremors, excessive sweating, confusion or disorientation), plus small doses of insulin two or three times daily before meals. In one test, 43 patients thus treated were more contented and cooperative, less querulous and insistent in demands for alcohol than those who received no insulin.

Return to Contents