Manuscripts and Special Collections

Popular illustration of a skull: icon for In Good Health

Transcript of item from: In Good Health

To Spotlight on the Collections introduction

Hospital admission form


We will close our account of this institution by giving the particulars of the most extraordinary case ever recorded in the medical annals, as extracted by Dr Hugh Moises from the Minutes of the hospital....

... Kitty used to be employed in sweeping the church several times a week, and was always very careful in picking up pins and needles, which she regularly stored in her mouth, for she received alike for both. She followed this practice, ... till she could neither eat, drink, or sleep without pins or needles in her mouth, having got out of bed many times to supply herself with them, in order to get some sleep. Indeed to such a pitch had she carried this strange habit, ... that her double teeth were worn almost to the gums by constantly chewing these little instruments of torment. At length she began to feel a constant numbness in her limbs, and a great disinclination to sleep, which, after various medical applications, was the cause of her being removed to the general hospital, where, ... she was the ninth patient....

Kitty Hudson, a single woman, was admitted into the General Hospital, Nottingham, on the 4th of august 1783, for an inflammatory affection of the right arm.... On inspection of the arm two needles were discovered in the skin, a little above the dorsal side of the wrist. They lay in a transverse direction, and were readily extracted by pushing the points through the skin and laying hold of them with a pair of forceps. Upon a more minute examination, some more needles were felt about three inches higher up the fore arm, but farther back than the others, and more over the flexor muscles; these lay longitudinally, and appeared to have their heads downwards. These needles were extracted as before, a small puncture with a lancet having been previously made.

Aug.6th. Another needle is felt very plainly a little below the former place.

7. The nurse, in attempting to extract one from her leg, has broken it, and left part of it in. A large needle has been taken away from her foot, which was laying across her instep, and among the tendons.

Oct. 11 A very large darning needle was this day extracted from her right breast, seemingly buried within a part of the gland; thinks she feels another needle very deep seated under the gland in the middle of the breast; complained of great pain in the breast after the removal of the needle, which in about an hour afterwards became so excessive as to throw her into convulsions.

Feb. 5th 1784 . Passed another needle yesterday by urine; is faint and low.

11th. The breast healing fast, less pain, and the needle not easily distinguishable; has had pain in the throat and vomiting, which brought up blood; feels still an obstruction in swallowing.

12th. Brought up a needle by vomiting.

14th. Had a needle extracted from her breast.

16th. Complains of pain in the lower part of the thorax, betwixt the ribs, but nothing to be felt.

19th. Pain now in her breast, as when a needle was there before, that between the ribs gone off.

26th. Two days ago the whole of the breast began to be inflamed, and the inflammation continues.

March 3d. Inflammation gone off.

8th. Still complains of pain deep seated in her breast, which prevents her resting.

19th. The needle in the breast to be extracted.

22d. It passed into the thorax during the operation; part of the gland, which was schirrous, was removed.

26th. No pain from the needle; breathing easy.

April 26th. Quite well; dismissed cured.

Aug. 11 1784. Re-admitted. On Friday last threw up a pin from her stomach; since easier there, but had a pin in right breast. One needle taken out from the surface, but has continued pain from one deep seated in the same breast, with spasms, and jaw stiff. Warm bath this evening.

16th. Spasms have been severe, and has taken the laudanum to the amount of 500 drops. No pain except in breast. Warm bath whenever the spasm or pain increases.

20th. Great pain in breast, and in jaw, which was locked; general convulsions and violent.

22d. Took a bolus on Friday, went into the warm bath, and was much relieved; repeated bolus twice on Saturday, and one last night, using the warm bath. A splinter came away from the inner angle of the lower jaw on the right side; body open and jaw quite relaxed; no spasm, but violent pain in the breast.

26th. For several days has complained of great pain in her breast; and describes it to be as if several pins were lodged in the mamma and pectoral muscle, and lying between the two ribs.

Aug. 30th. The right mamma was extirpated this day, in the middle of which a needle was found closely impacted; an hæmorrhage taking place in the evening, the dressings were removed, and a small artery was taken up; a pin was found in the dressings.

Sept. 4th. Complained of pain; the dressings were partially removed; another pin was sticking to the dressings; four other pins were also discovered in the wound, which were removed without difficulty. One of the pins having lost the head, her perception was so accurate as to distinguish it before removing the dressings.

Sept. 12th. Complains of much pain, which she thinks is owing to a piece of bone working its way along the sinus to make its exit at the wound. The piece of bone she imagines is about half an inch long, and rather thick.

13th. This morning it came away exactly as she had described it; and appears to be part of one of the ribs; she still complains of much pain, and thinks there is another piece of bone making its way to come out. This evening the other piece of bond came away, covered as she had described it; and appears to be the end of one of the ribs, covered with a vast number of insects of the grub kind.

14th. A great number of grubs came away with the dressings this day.

15th. A small piece of bone came away with the dressings; complains of much pain, as if there were several more pieces to come away.

16th. This morning another piece of bone came away, rather larger than that of yesterday.

17th. Complains of much pain and prickings in the part; food passes through the sinus.

18th. Two pieces of bone came away covered with a cartilaginous substance; from the kind of pain she feels, thinks there is another large piece of bone that will soon come away.

19th. This morning the large piece of bond came away as she had described it; is much easier.

30th. One piece of bond came away on the 28th; could take no food; was ordered nutritive clysters of milk and broth. Yesterday two bonds came away, portions of rib! Feels as if more were lodged at the œsophagus; feels as if a gathering was coming on lower on the ribs; chilliness and shivering at times; clyster came up in part at her mouth, and gave her pain; lessen the quantity, and repeat them. Three pieces of carious rib came away this morning.

Oct. 1st 1784. This morning thirty-four pieces of bone were working their way through the sinus. Took a small quantity of bread and wine last night, which greatly refreshed her; eat some bread and milk for supper with some degree of appetite.

2d. This morning was considerably better; was got up, and walking about the ward in good spirits. After the wound was dressed, was seized with spasmodic affection of the lungs, almost producing suffocation, which was succeeded by rigor and fainting. No bone or ailment came away with the dressings. In the afternoon and evening was much better.

Jan. 3d. 1786. Re-admitted.

19th. Extracted a very small needle from the fore part of the leg, near the outer uncle; and from the deep-seated pain near the same part, she fancies a pin is lodged. The erysipelatous ulceration, which affected the greatest part of the leg, has entirely gone off.

20th. Have extracted another portion of bond, nearly one inch in length and half an inch broad, from out of the vagina, having two pins running parallel to each other, in the same manner as in that of the report of the 18th. - Feels more bone. The former symptoms still continue; ancles œdematous at night; cannot sleep for pain, or retain any solid food whatever.

25th. Complains of very lacerating, prickling pain all last night. Have removed a portion of bone, having a pin running through its substance longitudinally; and another portion three-quarters of an inch in length and half an inch in breadth, with a pin running transversely through it, forming a right angle. Had a stool, which was streaked with blood; a continued discharge of pus, black and fœtid, from the vagina; still complains of pain in the side, stomach, &c. with sickness as before.

March 3d. Removed two narrow portions of bone, about one inch in length and three-quarters an inch in breadth; one porting having two pins impacted longitudinally, the other only one. Thinks the whole of the loosened bones from the ribs are discharged, as she is free from lacerating pains; other symptoms continue; gets little or no sleep.

May 4th. Pain this evening intolerable in her breast; took at eleven in the morning, eleven tea spoons full of tinct thebaica, and this morning twelve, which have not yet (eight o'clock) either alleviated the pain or produced any effect, excepting nausea.

(From this day we find no report until)

June 12th. Dismissed, cured.

Return to the topic

Terms   Privacy   Contact