Monday, August 16, 2010

Arkham Sanitarium Clinical Chart

Today we have another prop document from H.P. Lovecraft's "Arkham Sanitarium", this time a patient clinical chart. It's based on a period chart from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, as pictured in the 1922 edition of "Modern Methods in Nursing" by Georgiana J. Sanders. Two versions are included in the PDF- the first page is customized for Arkham Sanitarium, while the second page is a generic chart usable with any other medical facility. Here's what the source looked like:

I used a Copperplate font for the Arkham Sanitarium chart for aesthetic and historical reasons. It themes well with the existing logo, and I came across a vintage (circa 1905) chart from the Louisiana State Board of Health that used it.

A few notes on filling it out. Patients under general observation were checked twice daily, in the morning and evening (hence the "M" and "E" in each column). Temperature, as in body temperature, should be self explanatory. The pulse rate for a healthy adult at rest ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute and can zoom up to 150 to 200 beats during heavy exercise. Respiration averages 12-20 breaths per minute. "Dejections" are the clinically polite way of describing bowel movements.

Just click here to download the full PDF from Google Documents.


Anonymous said...

That's pretty cool. I've nursed for ten years and we have slightly different current charts for that. I love that they use euphemisms like dejection, as apposed to the modern "bowel chart".

Propnomicon said...

@ ethicalcannibal

One of the things I've enjoyed the most during the research for the Arkham Sanitarium project is discovering what medicine was like back in the 1920's. Figuring out just what "dejection" meant was one of those little factoids that really brings the period alive.

Another was "Wasserman" or "Wasserman Score", a notation I kept finding on multiple forms, but didn't realize was a notation for the results for one of the first tests for syphilis. Despite being familiar with the history of Lovecraft's father it was a little terrifying to discover just how many victims of the disease were in asylums.