Two tuberculosis caution cards, from Brighton County Borough Mental Hospital, England, 1921
Caution cards such as these carried instructions for medical staff for the care of tuberculosis patients. They doubled as patient record cards and were used by nurses to record medical visits. Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection spread through airborne droplets. It can spread quickly within densely populated communities. To contain the disease, the card states the patient: ‘may not be employed in the Kitchen, Stores, Dining Hall, or wherever food is handled.’ This card illustrates patients could live with the disease for a long time by the 1930s. This patient received treatment for well over a decade until November 1936. However, he regularly went without seeing a doctor for six months at a time. It is unknown whether he died or was discharged. The Brighton County Borough Asylum was renamed Brighton County Borough Mental Hospital in 1919. It doubled as a sanatorium for treating tuberculosis patients and as a mental hospital. This was not unusual for the time since sea air was considered beneficial for a number of mental and physical ailments.
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Glossary: information card
An infectious disease that is caused by a bacterium first identified by Robert Koch in 1882. The disease usually affects the lungs first, and is accompanied by a chronic cough.
Glossary: patient record card