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Source: Papers On Health
In a variety of cases, more or less severe spasmodic
pains are felt in the chest. Angina Pectoris (literally, agony of the
chest) is one of the worst of these. All these pains, as a rule, may
be removed completely by treatment such as the following:--
Prepare a bed (long enough for the patient to lie at full length upon
his back), with a large thick sheet folded on the lower part of it.
Spread over this sheet a blanket wrung out of hot water, so as to be
both moist (but not wet) and warm (see Fomentation). See that the
blanket is not so hot as to burn the patient and add to his pain. It
must be tested with the back of the hand, and be just as warm as this
can well bear. On this let the patient lie down, and wrap him up
tightly in it from the feet up to above the haunches. Have two or three
towels folded so as to be about six inches broad, and the length of
that part of the patient's spine above the hot blanket. Wring these out
of cold water. Place one over the spine, so as to lie close along it;
on this, place a dry towel to keep the damp from the bed, and let the
patient lie down on his back, so as to bring the cold towel in close
contact with the spine. When this towel becomes warm, another cold one
must be put in its place. After about half an hour's pack and eight
changes of the cold towel, the pain in the chest should be subdued for
the time. If the cold towel does not heat in five minutes, the
patient's vitality is low, and a hot cloth should be placed along the
spine, and renewed several times, and then another cold one; but as a
rule this will not be required. When taken out of the pack, let the
skin be washed with SOAP (see) and warm water; then a slight sponge
of nearly cold water, and a gentle rubbing with olive or almond oil.
Rub the back first, and gently "shampoo" all the muscles; that is,
knead and move the muscles under the skin so as to make them rub over
If the pain in the chest be of an inflammatory nature, the cold towels
must be applied over the place where it is felt, instead of on the
spine (see Inflammation.)
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