[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] treating pneumonia in the 1920s

Otto otto at schienke.com
Mon Sep 21 06:43:24 PDT 2009

Good morning Laurelei,
The treatment appears to be an act of desperation on the part of  
distraught parents. They were no more successful than the medical  
field at the time. Cheer up, your g. grandparents did all that could  
be done at the time. Infant mortality rate was still high in 1925.

The incubator you discuss sounds similar in construction to one we  
used on the farm to nurse baby chicks to a standing state. With chicks  
it was a matter of strengthening them and preventing infection.

You mention "pneumonia", the leading cause of death in children under  
five years old worldwide.
Pneumonia can often be a secondary complication once the immune system  
is compromised.
The word "pneumonia" should be considered a generic term describing a  
plethora of causes.

Pneumonia is an inflammatory illness of the lungs common to all age  
groups with the old and young most susceptible due to weak immune  

1925 was 15 years prior to sulfa drugs and penicillin. Even then,  
antibiotics were only useful in the treatment of bacterial based  
pneumonia. Pneumonia has a variety of causes. In the list are included  
bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites and "unknown." Chemical or  
physical injury to the lungs cannot be excluded. Today we can add  
SARS, BOOP and COP to the heap.

On Sep 21, 2009, at 12:57 AM, Laurelei Primeau wrote:

> I have a fragment of a family story that I am trying to understand.
> Perhaps someone on the list can help?
> My grandfather's baby brother had pneumonia in 1925. Popa remembered
> that his dad had made an "incubator" from cookie sheets and a light
> bulb, the size of a  butter box, to rest on the open door of the stove
> - to take advantage of the warm, dry air? What treatments were likely
> to be used for an ill toddler? The little guy did not survive his
> illness, and there is no one in the family left who remembers the
> incident. The family would have been living in the city of Vancouver,
> BC at the time.
> Thanks!
> Laurelei


. . .   Otto
          " The Zen moment..." wk. of January 04, 2009-
                 "The future. . . . always catches up."

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