Bowels Inflammation Of

Sources: Papers On Health

This (called medically Peritonitis) is an

inflammation of the membrane covering the bowels. It results from chill

or strain, and sometimes, in the case of child-birth, from dirt

introduced into the parts by handling with unwashed hands. In such

cases, the utmost care must be taken to ensure cleanliness, which will

secure against one fertile cause of the disease. The hands should be

always fresh and clean, and all cloths, etc., should be either most

carefully washed or burnt. Where the trouble arises from strain, or

chill, these lower the vitality, and the membrane becomes gorged with

blood at fever heat. To regulate this heat, then, and free the membrane

from the blood which over-fills it, is to lead to a cure. Rub the back

with warm olive oil, place on it a large BRAN POULTICE (see), or an

india-rubber bag of hot water covered with moist flannel; this must

in either case be large enough to cover the entire lower back. Anything

may be used, if these cannot be had, which will powerfully stimulate

the back with moist heat. Wring a small thin towel out of cold water,

and place it over the bowels. At first this must be very gently laid

on. After a little, and when several times freshly applied, this cold

cloth may be very gently pressed all over the bowels. Relief will

almost certainly come ere this has been done for an hour. Then a rest

may be given for two hours, and after that a large fomentation applied

to feet and legs (see Fomentation). While this is on, the cold cloths

may be changed over the bowels again, and over the chest as well. After

an hour of this, great relief should be felt. If there is great thirst

a small bit of ice may be sucked, or a few drops of vinegar in water

may be taken; but the outside cooling will probably render this

unnecessary. Avoid all alcoholic drinks.

Shivering and a feeling of cold is often the earliest symptom, and as

it is of immense importance that warming measures should be promptly

applied. Hot bricks, or bottles, placed merely to the soles of the

feet, are but poor helps: it would be vastly better to pack the feet

and legs in a hot blanket fomentation at once, and, if pain at all

shows itself, to apply a large fomentation to the lower part of the

back. The sooner this is done the better; besides, there is the

consolation that the treatment can never do any harm even if applied in

a case in which there has occurred a harmless chill. The dread which

some medical men have of cold applications is wonderful, but we know

that the front-rank men have no such fear. When care is taken to have

the hot application on first, there is, and can be, no possible danger

in any case in cooling down the burning circulation. One or two

applications have sufficed in many cases we have seen.