Joseph Clover's Casebook
The casebook pictured below contains details of cases seen. and lectures attended. whilst Joseph Clover was at University College Hospital - first as a medical student and then as the Resident Medical Officer. The book had been pressed into a picture frame for many years and it was apparent that it had been re-covered at some time as the binding did not fit properly and an index, written by Clover, had been covered by the binding. The book has now been conserved and rebound, the index is now readable (see below) and the book is housed in an acid-free box.
Extracts from the casebook - with reference to anaesthesia
Dangerous syncope from chloroform.
Monday 8 December – I went to 14 Mortimer Crescent with Mr R…to operate for Phymosis. Chloroform was given in the usual way – on a pad of lint with a silk hankf [ handkerchief] loosely bound to keep the vapour being blown away, but allowing enough air. The man became delirious in the early stage of it and kicked a chair over so that I was anxious he should not recover consciousness before the operation was completed.
…when the arteries were tied the man partially recovered so as to struggle a little and I advised more to be given the inspiration began to be noisy and croupy, and then suddenly stopped and on removing the (handkerchief) – he was pale in the face- the lips quite blanched the eyes half open eschewing a tremendously dilated pupil – the pulse could be felt, respiration was stopped – we pressed on his thorax and belly and allowed the elasticity of the chest to expand quickly to make artificial respiration. Also we dashed cold water in his face but it did not excite any improvement. On about three minutes he began to breathe a little and a little thready pulse was felt. We now raised his whole body higher in bed as to cover his extremities and put hot water bottles at his feet. In a quarter of an hour he had so far recovered as to turn a little in bed and then with some difficulty we gave him brandy and water – the pulse was now 90 – but he was scarcely sensible, turned on his side and almost buried his face in the bed.
"...Bleeding ceased however and the woman became exceedingly faint & breathing almost stopped- - cold water dashed on her face roused her & the pulse returned..."