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Croup and ipecac in Anne of Green Gables (drkottaway.com)
32 points by bryanrasmussen 49 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 5 comments



Contrary to this person's blog, doctors of the 19th century knew the difference between croup and diptheria, and used syrup of Ipecac to treat croup. Example from this manual of 1897 (for spasmodic croup):

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=loc.ark:/13960/t5cc24...

He mentions putting leeches on the larynx earlier on.

If you look at something like the Merck Manual of 1899, a modern doctor would have a great deal of trouble finding any pills that he would be comfortable prescribing today. In Anne's time (the 1870s), doctors -- extremely learned and studied individuals, even compared to today's standards -- still killed more people than they saved.


But her daughter was satisfied that this was a reasonable explanation. And sometimes that’s all that matters.


I've read multiple 19th century novels where someone goes for a walk, gets caught in the rain, comes down with a fever, is nursed, invariably with a wet towel, and possibly dies.

That scenario isnt based on good science, there's no reason why the scenario described in the book should be.

I don't know if it's general ignorance, a common plot point, wanting to feel like you should help in a situation where you're powerless. This just seems to be reading far too much into one book it's like someone watching CSI 100 years from now to measure our understanding of DNA.


Typo in the title: it's "ipecac".

Interesting article, thanks for sharing.


Updated. Thanks!




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