[The eye department at Copenhagen municipal hospital: part 2: Holm's epoch, 1929-57].


Ejler Holm (1887-1966) was the chief at the eye department, the Municipal Hospital in Copenhagen in the period 1929-57. He got the longest period in the history of the department, 28 years. Holms qualification to get the appointment are described, especially in his medical thesis concerning the yellow pigment in the central part of the retina (bleaching opsin). Never the less he got an unjustified attack from the opponent professor Marius Tscherning (1854-1939) including the theory of duplicity (day function and night function of the human eye), and the German ophthalmic science. The struggle to become professor ophthalmologiae at the University of Copenhagen in 1925 is mentioned. The eye diseases and their therapy in the period are exemplified from original patient records from 1930 (tuberculosis, venerea, dry eye, morsum hirudin etc.), 1940 (chemotherapeutica, trachoma, glaucoma etc.) and 1949 (penicillin, injections of milk i.m., cauterisation, trachoma etc.), supplemented by Holms records from own practic in 1934, surgery protocols and statistical material from the period. The number of cataract extractions (extracapsular) increased considerable with more liberal indication and regime. Also the number of squint operations are increasing, where sutures are more often used. Glaucoma-surgery increased only slightly with more filtering operations (Elliots trepanation, Holth-iridencleise) instead of simple iridectomy. Eye pathological examinations become more qualified. Psychiatric, simulating and troublesome patients are described. There are very great difference between diagnosis and treatment at that time, compared with today.

Cite this paper

@article{Norn1998TheED, title={[The eye department at Copenhagen municipal hospital: part 2: Holm's epoch, 1929-57].}, author={Mogens S Norn}, journal={Dansk medicinhistorisk arbog}, year={1998}, pages={13-41} }