Glancing Back: Out Cold

March 22, 2001
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Exit Morpheus

In an article written by Henry Knowlton appearing in the March 27, 1940 News, two Detroit doctors said that they succeeded in curing morphine addiction by inducing hibernation or “frozen sleep.” Prior to this, the treatment was used only for cancer patients in pain.

Drs. J.M. Berris and M.K. Newman, physicians at Grace Hospital, declared that a morphine addict was totally cured of her addiction with a three-day frozen-sleep treatment.

To administer this treatment, the patient’s body temperature was to be lowered to 85° to 88°F by means of a “refrigerated sponge rubber blanket.” A Freon liquid cooling mechanism was pumped through tubing in the blanket. The hibernation was continued by reducing the room temperature to 55° to 60°F with a 1 1/2-hp water-cooled Kelvinator room cooler.

The patient’s body temperature was to be kept at this lower range for three to five days, thus inducing hibernation. The patient goes blank and does not remember anything that happens during treatment.

During this process, Epival, an intravenous anesthetic, was to be given to the patient to stop the person from shivering which, if not checked, would raise the patient’s body temperature.

The equipment used in experiments of this treatment was designed by Dr. L.A. Philipp, chief engineer of Kelvinator Corp.

This method of treating morphine addiction is not currently practiced.


After the flood

Having survived the worst flood in Fort Wayne since 1913, Indiana contractors and wholesalers went back to work in order to help their customers recover, reported Diane Cantor, Elizabeth Duffy, and David Adrian, in the March 29, 1982 News.

The St. Joseph, St. Mary, and Maumee rivers overran their banks in mid-March, putting 9,500 people out of their homes.

The flooding only made a bad economic situation worse. The jobless rate at the time was 13.7%, the highest percent for any city in the state, and according to Phil Holser of Paul R. Holser Co., many people who lived in the flood plain had low incomes. “That’s what’s so sad about the flood,” said Holser. “Most of the people who can least afford to have this problem are the ones who have it, and so I don’t want to trade on somebody’s misery.”

To help out those whose homes suffered due to the flood, Brockman Co., a contractor, lowered its rates and advertised to aid flood victims. Rates were cut from $23.50 to $16.50 an hour for general service work and from $46.95 to $30.00 for furnace cleaning.

Basement pumping costs were $50.00.

A couple weeks before the flooding occurred, Hedback Corp., a wholesaler in Indianapolis with branches in Evansville and Fort Wayne requested of its dealer-contractors in other areas that they be ready to subcontract crews to Fort Wayne. Hedback also asked their contractors to stock adequate supplies of service parts and to inform their customers how to endure until they could be serviced.

Publication date: 03/26/2001

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