From The Commonwealth, Scotland Neck, N.C., Nov. 24, 1916
Dr. Register Visits State
Sanitarium…Praises Efficiency of Staff and Faulty…White Plague Being Conquered
The great work being accomplished by the various State institutions in
combatting tuberculosis, or the white plague, as it is commonly known, is
attracting world wide attention, and in this state, where the local conditions
at Sanitarium, N.C., are so much in favor of successful treatment, should be a
matter of pride to citizens of the Old North State.
We are indebted to Dr. Register for a letter on the subject which coming
from a man on high in the medical fraternity carries with it great weight and
is really an address to the people of this section of the state. His letter is
The Editor, The Commonwealth,
Scotland Neck, N.C.
A few weeks ago it was my great pleasure to visit our State tuberculosis
Sanitorium at Sanatorium, N.C. As many people in the State know little or
nothing of this institution I would deem it a privilege to tell you readers
something of my visit and some of the interesting and important facts which I
Arriving at Sanatorium about 10 a.m., I was cordially received by Dr.
McBrayer, the Superintendent of the institution, and his two efficient
co-workers, Doctors McCain and Thompson. McBrayer is a man large in body and in
mind and is eminently fitted for the very important work which is being done in
this institution. Under his wise and efficient administration truly notable
things are being accomplished in the battle with the great white plague.
In the Sanatorium I had the pleasure of meeting the nurses and patients, and
also some former patients who had returned for examination. It was interesting
and gratifying to note that all of those former patients have continued to
improve after leaving the Sanatorium, thus illustrating the permanent value of
the treatment they had received.
Tuberculosis has long been recognized as one of our most dreaded diseases,
taking an enormous toll of human life, and being considered both unavoidable and
insurable But in this institution the disease is being treated with courage and
success, in the light of the best modern science and medical practice. Patients
are being taught how to care for themselves and for others. The sanatorium is a
great educational centre, whose inmates are being trained for effective war on
the plague. It is like a missionary station in a heathen country. It helps not only
those who are so fortunate as to go there, but others to whom are carried the
glad tidings that consumption is both avoidable and curable.
The great white plague is no respecter of persons. “The sickness that
wasteth a noonday” is liable to enter any home, from the highest to the most
humble. All our people have a vital interest in this institution that is
rendering such good service in fighting a common enemy. It deserves our united
and liberal support, and its capacity should be doubled at once.
The Sanatorium is situated in Hoke county in the sandhills, among the long
leaf pine. It is high and dry. From the top of the building one can see 40
miles in any direction. The soil is so porous that just after a hard rain one
can go and walk about without getting his feet wet. The days and nights are
equable. All in all the situation and climate are ideal for an institution of
The medical profession has been somewhat backward in the diagnosis of
tuberculosis. But there is a great awakening in this matter. More than half the
cases that are sent to the Sanatorium are incipient, which means with proper
treatment they will get well. Every case of tuberculosis allowed to run to an
advanced stage means a losing fight for the patient, but also that this person
becomes a new center of infection for the spread of the disease. Success in the
fight with this terrible plague must be one by preventive measures, to avoid
the development of new cases, and by prompt treatment of every case in its early
stages. Especial responsibility rests upon the medical profession and upon the
heads of institutions to be alert in the diagnosis of tuberculosis and to
provide promptly for the isolation and treatment of all cases in their
incipiency. Institutions where large numbers of people are kept together as
fertile breeding places for the development and spread of the disease. Neglect
in such institutions may more than counterbalance the good work being done in
our State Sanatorium.
I am under special obligations for the gracious hospitality shown me by Dr.
McBrayer’s wife and daughter. These charming ladies know how to make even a
stranger feel perfectly at home. At their table I enjoyed two delightful meals.
And at the close of my visit they took me in their car for a drive through the
country to Aberdeen.
--F.M. Register, M.D.,