Infectious Patients Update, 1935

Most of my assumptions about what visiting time at hospitals used to be like I’ve gleaned from the Carry On films. That, and the 1959 episode of Hancock’s Half Hour I was listening to on the bus earlier, “Hancock in Hospital”, where the lad is kept in for weeks with a broken leg and visiting time lasted for a mere two hours, once a week.

The most I’ve been in hospital was for 3 nights after a cesarean section and that felt like plenty long enough, quite apart from the insane situation of having major surgery, which you recover from by immediately having to look after and feed a newborn all through the night. And in fact I first listened to that Hancock episode while I was in hospital for another operation three years ago, but it turns out morphine injections rather hamper your concentration and I couldn’t remember any of it, so it was nice to listen to it again while I was in sound mind.

Anyway, in short, I don’t really know how visiting time worked for sure. But I have become fascinated by the infectious patient reports in old newspapers. Local newspapers used to print information about such patients, who presumably weren’t allowed visitors at all as a general rule – each patient had a number and their friends and family could consult the paper to check their progress.

Portsmouth Evening News, 25th February, 1935

Portsmouth Evening News, 25th February, 1935

Edinburgh Evening News, 13th November 1924

Edinburgh Evening News, 13th November 1924

So many stories there, reduced to the bare bones of information. I find myself worrying about the dangerously ill patients. Considering the information needed to be with the paper to be printed the day before, did the friends and family find out and get to the hospital in time?

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3 Responses

  1. They used a similar system at university to post our marks on the noticeboard. I was 0007.

  1. March 26, 2017

    […] about old newspaper content I am encroaching upon Estelle‚Äôs Skittish Library subject matter (e.g. Infectious Patients), but I just had to post this 1839 article from the Bath Chronicle, found in helping an […]

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