SPINALES SENSIBILITÄTSSCHEMA für du segmentdiagnose der rückenmarkskrankheiten zum einzeichnen der befunde am krankenbett. Berlin, Verlag von August Hirschwald.
1906. Small folio, pp. 8; with 40 leaves of printed diagnostic charts, illustrating the same two images of a rear and front image of the body, each leaf serrated at gutter and designed to be torn off and completed by the physician, with blank lines are tail of each leaf for notes; in modern grey paper wrappers, stab sewn, retaining the original front printed grey wrapper and bound in, and with facsimile of original title-page mounted on upper cover; ex-libris for the Royal College of Surgeons, with stamp on original wrapper, title-page, and with two stamps on verso of each leaf of plates, dated 1906. Rare second edition of this unusual practical neurological aid, intended to be used ‘at the hospital bedside’ to help the segmental diagnosis of spinal column diseases for individual cases, and thus form part of a patients case notes file. After a brief introduction, the pamphlet is made up of 20 identical sets of detachable anterior and posterior outline sketches of the body, upon which the practitioner could mark the particular areas of sensitivity on the body. As the introduction notes: ‘The present scheme is intended to fill a gap in the series of schemes available so far. The latter dealt only with the boundaries of the peripheral nerve districts, which are known to be totally different from those of the spinal or root areas on the skin. These and other disadvantages, in particular the lack of sufficiently marked fixed points on the sink and the bone system, make the peripheral sensitivity schemes unsuitable for spinal purposes’ (google translation). Designed to be used and effectively destroyed, the survival of complete copies is therefore rare.
The work was first published in 1901, seemingly both separately, and as a journal article in the Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten. It was to prove popular with both a third and fourth editions appearing in 1911 and 1917.
Friedrich Wilhelm Seiffer (1872-1917) was a noted German neurologist and psychiatrist. He received his medical doctorate from Strasbourg in 1895 and worked at a private mental health institution in Pankow-Berlin. He subsequently worked at the psychiatric clinic of the Berlin-Charité. He was the author of further works on the general diagnosis and treatment of nervous diseases in 1902, and ‘Studies on the sense of vibration or the so-called ‘bone-sensitivity’’ in 1903, together with Rydel.