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 Post subject: EBD's medical knowledge
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2017, 09:17 
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I'm currently reading Joey & Co and am struck by the treatment/care Roger receives following his accident. EBD states that he severs an artery in his leg yet his treatment takes the form of Jack (of course!) dealing with the situation but not taking him to hospital. As Roger is resting following the treatment Len, as the daughter of a doctor, knows that Roger has to be kept relaxed so that he doesn't develop a fever. Ruey and Roddy, not the children of a doctor, clearly have no understanding of this. A few days later Roger is fully recovered and climbing mountains.

I just cannot understand why Roger would not be in hospital for several days and why he would be overexerting himself by climbing mountains (and he's reminded to take it easy during this episode). Would being restless really have caused Roger to develop a fever? Also why does being a child of doctor automatically mean that you have more medical knowledge than others? As neither of my parents are doctors I can't answer this :roll: but if anyone does have more medical knowledge than me please could you help?


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 Post subject: Re: EBD's medical knowledge
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2017, 09:59 
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You do pick up a lot from your family. I was quite surprised once when my husband went off on an online rant about homebirths, safety and use of midwives - I suddenly realised he takes in a lot of what I say - and I've seen something on TV with a woman giving birth when my daughter, aged about 11 said something that was very midwifey and has obviously picked it up from me.

Back that you often would be treated and sutured at home and recover there (in Roald Dahl's autobiography they do a tonsillectomy at home) - even in the 1980s I had my head sutured in the living room


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 Post subject: Re: EBD's medical knowledge
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2017, 11:05 
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Most families of EBD's generation would probably have a Home Encyclopaedia, which would include a section on children's health, basic first aid, home remedies and caring for invalids. That would be where EBD got most of her medical knowledge, I should think.

And pre-NHS, most people, whatever their level of wealth, were nursed at home, unless they had an infectious disease. In Roger's case, putting him straight to bed was probably better than waiting for an ambulance and subjecting him to a journey to the San. If they'd been at home in Croydon, there'd have been a telephone nearby and they could have just dialled 999 for an ambulance, but it wasn't so easy at the Tiernsee.


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 Post subject: Re: EBD's medical knowledge
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2017, 11:37 
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claire wrote:

Back that you often would be treated and sutured at home and recover there (in Roald Dahl's autobiography they do a tonsillectomy at home) - even in the 1980s I had my head sutured in the living room

In Cheaper by the Dozen, the entire family had their tonsils out on the kitchen table, whether they needed the op or not....1920s America.

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 Post subject: Re: EBD's medical knowledge
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2017, 11:48 
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There were cultural issues about hospitals (as opposed to sanatoria) at one time - possibly because, at one time, a lot of hospitals were attached to workhouses. My local hospital used to be the local workhouse (and it still looks a bit like one!). Hospitals were seen as places where people went to die, or where people with infectious diseases were taken so that they could be isolated.

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 Post subject: Re: EBD's medical knowledge
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2017, 12:10 
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cestina wrote:
claire wrote:

Back that you often would be treated and sutured at home and recover there (in Roald Dahl's autobiography they do a tonsillectomy at home) - even in the 1980s I had my head sutured in the living room

In Cheaper by the Dozen, the entire family had their tonsils out on the kitchen table, whether they needed the op or not....1920s America.

My father had his tosils out on the kitchen table in the 1920s, and isn't there a bit in "The Mitford Sisters" where one of them had her appendix out at home? The latter also happens in anEJO.

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 Post subject: Re: EBD's medical knowledge
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2017, 12:32 
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E. Nesbit's son Fabian was another who had his tonsils out on the kitchen table. Sadly in his case things went wrong and he died.

In the 1930s, when workhouses lost the last of their 'workhouse' functions, often what was left was the infirmary, which was subsequently taken over by the NHS as a hospital.

A lot of hospitals, although completely rebuilt, still are on the sites of former workhouses, for practical reasons - the land is there and available. One in my county, when it was new a few years ago, was said to be the most up to date hospital in the country, with single en suite rooms for all patients. But it's on the site of the workhouse.

They even tried to change the name, but most people still refer to it by its old name.


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 Post subject: Re: EBD's medical knowledge
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2017, 13:17 
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:lol: Ours has been "North Manchester General" for years, but everyone still calls it by its old name - the name of the area it's in, which was also the name of the old workhouse. And, after the riot in 1990, the name of the local prison was changed to "H M Prison Manchester", but everyone still calls it "Strangeways". I don't know why they bother!

I wonder if Jem's Sans ever had official names. "The Gornetz Platz Sanatorium" and "The Sonnalpe Sanatorium"? People only ever seem to talk about "the San", but they must have been called something.

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 Post subject: Re: EBD's medical knowledge
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2017, 14:37 
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The Sonnalpe Sanatorium is named in Jem's letter to Gottfried's cousin in Exile, but I think the others are only ever referred to as The San.

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 Post subject: Re: EBD's medical knowledge
PostPosted: 27 Aug 2017, 13:29 
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I think that restlessness would be an early sign of developing fever, rather than the cause - but if they can prevent him reaching the restless stage, he won't go any further.

Thirty(ish) years ago we were on holiday in Portugal with another family. When I slipped on some rocks and got some rather nasty cuts in my chin, there was a hasty debate between the parents about foreign medical systems, foreign languages, and whatever medical insurance we had, before the father of the other family (who was a doctor) just cleaned the cuts and stitched them up in their rented flat. EBD doesn't really bother with details like insurance (and I doubt that the Richardson's father did either!) but in a situation like that, when someone has the skills and the equipment, it is often easier to deal with it on the spot.

I know that now when someone gets stitches in my clinic (I am a nurse) we tell them to keep the area dry for 48 hours and then to wash it as normal and ensure that it stays clean. I don't know that I would reccomend swimming immediatly, but after a couple of weeks it shouldn't be a problem.

I don't know how much blood he lost, but I don't think that it would have been a huge amount. Len stopped the serious bleding pretty quickly. A healthy teenager would have been able to replenish blood volume fairly quickly.

He should, of course, have got a tetanus shot, but I'm not sure how avaiable (if at all) they were at that time, and they are not what Jack would have kept available as 'emergency supplies'.

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 Post subject: Re: EBD's medical knowledge
PostPosted: 27 Aug 2017, 15:07 
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EBd's medical knowledge was zero. She incorporated all her beliefs into her stories, including that well-known panacea, MILK.

Jo is supposed to have woken up from her operation for a displaced organ, had a glass of milk, and then gone off to sleep again.

I've had several ops, and the most I've ever been able to have afterwards was a few sips of water.

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A certain edge when she spoke of Mrs Maynard, certainly, but, after all, not everyone could love Joey.
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 Post subject: Re: EBD's medical knowledge
PostPosted: 27 Aug 2017, 15:21 
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He should, of course, have got a tetanus shot, but I'm not sure how avaiable (if at all) they were at that time, and they are not what Jack would have kept available as 'emergency supplies'.

Lost my previous reply. After an accident - toxoid for immediate protection. Tetanus immunisation - yes available but Roger would have been too old to be immunised as a baby - introduced into the UK as a routine sometime between 1951 (birth of my brother) and 1956 (birth of my sister).

With microbiologists hat on - about 20yrs ago there was a spate of tetanus in older women - too young to have been "done" in the services (women didn't do national service) and too young to have been given the old triple shot as babies.

My mother was in her 60s before she had her first course...

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 Post subject: Re: EBD's medical knowledge
PostPosted: 27 Aug 2017, 17:27 
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At my secondary school in the mid-late 1960s, anyone who had an accidental injury involving broken skin was immediately taken off to hospital for a tetanus jab. They had a menagerie of small animals - rabbits and so on - so it was especially important if anyone was injured around them.

I don't think I've ever had a tetanus injection. I know what other jabs I had as an infant, and I remember getting the polio - I'd just started school when the vaccination programme was being rolled out and we were taken one at a time into the headmistress's room to be given it.

There was a girl at my secondary school who was a year or so older than me who had had polio. It had left her with a wasted leg. One of the tings that makes me glad to have been born when I was.

At the time the last few books were written and published, the polio vaccine had been around for nearly ten years. Phil Maynard would have been vaccinated when it first became available (because I can't imagine Jack Maynard being anything less than super-vigilant in such matters) and shouldn't have caught polio.

If one thinks of the last few books as taking place in 1957-58, then she could have caught it, she'd have been among the last before the vaccination became available.


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 Post subject: Re: EBD's medical knowledge
PostPosted: 27 Aug 2017, 17:46 
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JayB wrote:
If one thinks of the last few books as taking place in 1957-58, then she could have caught it, she'd have been among the last before the vaccination became available.


When I was doing my lit review years ago, the paper before the one I was supposed to read (in a 1957 British Medical Journal) was on the ethics, I suppose, of importing vaccine which was available in the USA into the UK for one's own family. It's nearly 30 years since I read it so my memory is hazy on the details.

I have my own polio vaccine record from the summer of 1958 somewhere. Interestingly, the last time I needed a booster for work Occ Health gave me a triple shot also containing tetanus and diphtheria boosters...

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 Post subject: Re: EBD's medical knowledge
PostPosted: 28 Aug 2017, 13:22 
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JayB wrote:
At the time the last few books were written and published, the polio vaccine had been around for nearly ten years. Phil Maynard would have been vaccinated when it first became available (because I can't imagine Jack Maynard being anything less than super-vigilant in such matters) and shouldn't have caught polio.


In the mid 60s,a girl in my year at school caught polio.


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 Post subject: Re: EBD's medical knowledge
PostPosted: 28 Aug 2017, 17:58 
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Wouldn't Len know some first aid through the Guides? Not a substitute for professional medical help, obviously, but I'm sure she knew about wrapping bandages, fevers, keeping a patient quiet, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: EBD's medical knowledge
PostPosted: 28 Aug 2017, 21:01 
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The early polio vaccines didnt always work: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... ne/303946/

I think (not entirely sure) that the period covered in the book was the mid 50's?


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 Post subject: Re: EBD's medical knowledge
PostPosted: 28 Aug 2017, 21:51 
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mynameisdumbnuts wrote:
Wouldn't Len know some first aid through the Guides? Not a substitute for professional medical help, obviously, but I'm sure she knew about wrapping bandages, fevers, keeping a patient quiet, etc.


I always think it is such a shame that they didn't have Guides in Switzerland, in fact I don't think Len would have been old enough to be a Guide when they were still on the island.


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 Post subject: Re: EBD's medical knowledge
PostPosted: 29 Aug 2017, 16:53 
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We can date the triplets birth because of the outbreak of WWII - 1939, so they'd be 18 in November 1957...

The only other datable event in the canon is the death of George VI in February 1952 but the change of National Anthem may be because of publication date rather than "as time of writing".

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 Post subject: Re: EBD's medical knowledge
PostPosted: 29 Aug 2017, 18:59 
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There's a bit in one of the last of the books on the island - Changes? - where Bride says at the end of an evening that they must have 'the Queen' and they sing with 'full throats'. Elizabeth must just have become Queen or been crowned and the fact that this particular book was published in 1953 bears this out!


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