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Bowels Inflammation Of

Source: 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.

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