THE SEATS OF LOCAL DISEASES, A PHYSIOLOGICAL OUTLINE.
In the preceding four chapters we have studied the subject of human diseases as divided into those which are general and those which are local, and in the last two of these chapters we have taken a brief analytical review of the general diseases as a whole. To take into similar review the local diseases is our next task. Fur the purpose of this book it will be convenient to depart a lit tle from the plan of the Royal College of Physicians in specify ing the local affections, in order to condense the narrative and bring the facts of it into close compass. With this intent I shall place the local diseases under nine heads, corresponding to the systems of organs of the body;—the digestive, circulatory, respiratory, nervous, sensory, glandular and absorbent, muscular, osseous, and membranous.
Let me, however, in a brief preliminary manner, first describe these systems.
If we could by some sleight of science look physically through a living man and see how all his vital organs work, as we can look into the mechanism of a watch or a timepiece, we should discover in the nine grand systems of working organs, some active in their uses, some passive, but all playing important parts in the duties of maintaining or utilizing life. We should also discover them to be all bound together for a common object, that of bring ing the various organs and systems of organs into one organic frame or whole; so that while each system and each organ is to some extent independent of the others, such intimate ties hold them all together, that it is difficult, if not impossible, for one alone to suffer and for the rest to be unaffected.