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Bathing The Feet
Source: Papers On Health
This apparently simple treatment, if the best
results are desired, must be gone about most carefully. A foot-bath for
ten or twenty minutes, though a considerable help in many cases, is not
at all sufficient. It must be given, in most cases, for forty minutes
to give sensible relief. Some patients faint long before this time if
the feet are placed in very hot water from the beginning. To avoid this
faintness, proceed as follows: Get a vessel that will hold the feet
easily, and be deep enough to reach nearly up to the knees. Put water
in this one inch deep, and at blood heat--that is, just to feel warm to
an ordinary hand. Set the feet to be bathed in this, and have plenty of
hot water at hand. Let the patient be comfortably covered and seated,
and wait two minutes or so. Add then a little hotter water, and every
two minutes add a little more water, hotter every time, gradually
increasing the quantity and temperature of the water. In half an hour a
good strong heat and large deep bath will be reached, and in only a
very few cases will there be any faintness. If the heat is raised too
fast, give a little cold water to drink, and proceed more slowly. This
is in cases where simple stimulus to vital action is required.
If the bathing be for sores, or disease of joints, the sores should be
dressed first with cold cream or vaseline, or covered with a cloth
dipped in olive oil. If the skin becomes irritated from prolonged
bathing, cover before bathing with a cloth dipped in weak vinegar or
very weak ACETIC ACID (see). If the patient is too weak for bathing,
a fomentation may be applied as described in article on Angina
Pectoris, only extending, however, over the knees. Such fomentation may
also be used whenever cold cloths applied to a diseased or inflamed
part tend to cause a chill. It will quite prevent this.
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