Potteries Dispensary and House of Recovery statistics - from the Enoch Wood scrapbook

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Date:3rd of October 1806

Description:This Annual General Meeting meeting of the local Dispensary and House of Recovery gave its committee an opportunity to confirm that 3407 patients had passed through its doors since it was founded:

  • Number of patients cured or relieved from the date of the commencement of the institution to Michaelmas 1805: 900.

  • Michaelmas 1805 to Michaelmas 1806: 505.

  • Number of patients vaccinated to Michaelmas 1805: 1450.

  • Number of patients vaccinated from Michaelmas 1805 to Michaelmas 1806: 545.

  • Number of fever patients admitted to the House of Recovery: 7.

  • Figures are also reported for financial transactions and debt arrears.

    "The severest scourge of the human race."

    The vaccines were probably administered to combat smallpox (or 'cow-pox'), which could be caught by dairy workers from a cow's nipple and then passed on across the community.

    Surgeon Edward Jenner in 1796 found a way to innoculate against the disease by making an incision in the arm of a patient and rubbing in infected matter from a smallpox pustule.

    The patient would then catch a mild form of the disease, meaning that he or she could never catch it again.

    Although there were still casualties, it was a breakthrough that is still widely remembered today.

    About this document

    Pottery manufacturer Enoch Wood collected this document, and it is now among the collections of Stoke-on-Trent Museums.

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