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Source: Disturbances Of The Heart
During rheumatism the peripheral blood vessels are generally dilated
and the skin perspires profusely. This is caused not only by the
rheumatism, but also by the salicylates. The surface of the body
should be sponged with cold, lukewarm or hot water, depending on the
temperature, especially of the skin. The cold water will reduce the
temperature and tone the peripheral blood vessels; the hot water, if
the temperature is low and the skin moist and flabby, will cleanse
it and also tone the peripheral blood vessels. If the blood vessels
are dilated and the perspiration profuse, atropin is indicated, both
as a cardiac stimulant and contractor of the blood vessels and as a
preventer of too profuse sweating. The dose should be from 1/200 to
1/100 grain for an adult, given two or three times in twenty-four
hours, depending on its action and the indications. It should be
remembered that atropin is not a sleep-producer; it may stimulate
the cerebrum. Therefore at night it might well be combined with a
possible necessary hypodermic injection of morphin.
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