Two tuberculosis caution cards, from Brighton County Borough Mental Hospital dated 1921, listing treatment recieved by patient Blanchard Somerville from 9th April 1925 till 30th November 1936.
Caution cards such as these carried instructions for medical staff for the care of tuberculosis patients. They doubled as patient record cards and were used by nurses to record medical visits. Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection spread through airborne droplets. It can spread quickly within densely populated communities. To contain the disease, the card states the patient: ‘may not be employed in the Kitchen, Stores, Dining Hall, or wherever food is handled.’
This card illustrates patients could live with the disease for a long time by the 1930s. This patient received treatment for well over a decade until November 1936. However, he regularly went without seeing a doctor for six months at a time. It is unknown whether he died or was discharged.
The Brighton County Borough Asylum was renamed Brighton County Borough Mental Hospital in 1919. It doubled as a sanatorium for treating tuberculosis patients and as a mental hospital. This was not unusual for the time since sea air was considered beneficial for a number of mental and physical ailments.