Medicine: Snake-Bite Remedy?

"The general treatment for rattlesnake bite," wrote F. C. Wilkes, M.D., in a Manual of Practice for the Diseases of Texas, published in 1866, "consists in immediate and powerful stimulation. Whiskey, brandy, rum or any spirituous liquor should be freely given, so as to produce intoxication, if possible." No prescription was ever more popular in the West. Yet its efficacy has never been checked by medical research. Last week famed Venomologist Herbert L. Stahnke of Arizona State College announced that the imposingly named Committee on Problems of Alcohol, Division of Medical Sciences of the National Research Council of the...

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