Friday photo, Stornoway Sanatorium

In the past few weeks we have had two enquiries from people looking for details on the Red Cross Sanatorium for treatment of tuberculosis patients.  The building opened in 1920, initially treating only ex-servicemen, but this was quickly extended to any male sufferers, with a ward added later for females. 

Tuberculosis was believed to be so prevalant in the islands due to poorly vented, crowded living spaces and lack of fresh fruit and vegetables, while the belief that washing the sinuses with water that had touched the hands of the seventh son of a seventh son survived into the early 20th Century.  Great improvements were made from 1936 onwards with inoculations available for school children and chest X-rays for teenagers and adults, reducing the threat of the disease on the islands.

About David Powell

Project Manager and Archivist with Tasglann nan Eilean Siar
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