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Newspaper Page Text
SHOCKING CONDITIONS FOUND AT THE OAK
Is Cook county criminally careless
in its treatment of the victims of the
white plague who-are too poor to pay
for treatment and therefore must go
to county institutions?
The report of the special commit-
tee which investigated the tubercu
losis ward of the County Hospital and
the Oak Forest Tuberculosis Hospital
would indicate that this is the case.
Both hospitals are accused of f eed
, ing the tubercular patients the same
quality of food that is given to the
county poor, regardless of the abso
lute necessity of a diet.
The conditions at Oak Forest are
especially deplorable according to
this report, which was placed in the
hands of McCormick, president of the
County Board, on November 28, 1913.
There is only one physician for 327
patients. No physician can possibly
care for more than fifty patients.
Consequently, if 50 are taken care of
properly, 277 must be neglected ab
solutely, or the entire number of pa
tients must be given about one-seventh
the attention they require.
The 'physician calls at the hospital
once a month to examine the pa
tients. The hospital has no medical equip
ment for the ordinary treatment and
study of the cases.
It has no laboratory.
It has no facilities for the treat
ment of the tuberculous diseases of
the nose and throat.
Consequently, it does not possess
reliable records of the condition of
the patients, and has no system of
treatment having for its aim the cure
of the disease.
The nursing service is absolutely
inadequate. On November 28, 1913,
there were sixteen nurses for 327
patients. After allowing for"" two
night nurses and for the weekly half
day leave to each nurse, there re
mains only ten nurses for daily duty;
furthermore, a part of the time of
these ten nurses is taken up by
menial labor which should be per
formed by domestics.
The hospital lacks a sufficient
number of male and female em-'
ployes for the domestic service and
patients are compelled to make good
There is a rule that a patient with
a temperature over 100 must be put
The nurses do not have time to .,
take the temperatures, and, if they,
had the time, there are not sufficient;
Therefore many of the patients)
who should be in bed are scrubbing
floors, cleaning windows and doing
other menial labor that cannot help
but quicken the progress of their
Owing to- the fact that the food
supplied is harmful in many cases,
the Jewish Tuberculosis Relief So
ciety has been giving Jewish patients
an allowance of $1 a week to buy
proper food. Other patients must
eat what they can get.
In view of the function of the Oak
Forest Tuberculosis Hospital, it
should have its own medical and
nursing staff, especially trained and
exclusively given to the treatment
and nursing of tuberculosis patients.
It should have one physician for
every fifty patients.
It should increase its force of do
mestics so that patients who are too
weak and too sick to be out of bed
are not forced to do scrubbing and
It should have a trained dietitian.
It should have a greatly increased
But because of deficient medical
supervision, deficient nursing, unsuit
able diet improperly served in crowd
ed diningrooms, and other criminal
conditions, it becomes a menace not
only to the patients in the hospital,
but to those who fear to enter and