Sources: Papers On Health
Turning now to the case when consumption
has actually shown itself, the above treatment is exactly the course to
be pursued. But we would emphasise the fact that unlimited fresh air
and good nourishing foods are the only cure. If the patient can afford
it, it is best to go to one of the Sanatoria for consumptives in order
that he may see how the fresh air cure is practically carried out. It
means simply breathing every mouthful of air as pure as it can possibly
be obtained. Sleeping out in a hut, with the side completely open, and
with protection only from the rain, with abundance of clothing, and, if
necessary, hot-water jars to supply the required heat, is strongly
recommended, and every hour of the day, as far as possible, should be
spent in the open air, reclining or taking gentle exercise.
The food should be nourishing and abundant. Plenty of milk, butter, and
eggs should form the basis of the diet. The strictest precautions
should be taken against spreading infection, and the patient be made to
understand that these measures are intended not only to protect the
public and his friends, but to allow of his social intercourse with
them, and to assist his own cure. The source of danger being the spit,
it should be collected in a pocket spittoon or piece of paper, and be
destroyed before it has time to dry. Spitting on floors or elsewhere is
highly dangerous. The spittoon should be boiled carefully. A
consumptive should not swallow his phlegm, as the disease may thus be
conveyed to parts of the body not already infected. Kissing a
consumptive person on the lips is attended with risk, and consumptive
patients should not wear a heavy moustache or beard, as the phlegm
drying on the hair is a source of danger.
The bed on which the consumptive lies should not be in a corner, but
out from the wall, so as to admit of cleaning and ventilation. Curtains
and carpets are dust catchers; reduce the amount of such articles as
much as possible. In the event of a death from consumption, the room
occupied by the invalid should not be used again until it has been
thoroughly disinfected. The Public Health Authorities are usually ready
to carry out this work. If not, the floor and woodwork should be wiped
with damp dusters, and then scoured with soap and water. If the walls
are papered, the paper should be well damped, stripped off, and burnt.
If the walls have been white-washed, this should be renewed with
limewash, containing a quarter of a pound of chlorinated lime to the
gallon of limewash. The quilt, pillow case, blankets, and sheets of the
patient's bed should be steeped in boiling water and then washed.
Often consumption is associated with wasting sores on the neck or other
parts, which are extremely difficult to heal. These should be soaked in
warm weak ACETIC ACID (see) daily, and dressed with olive oil. They
may be greatly mitigated, if not cured, by this simple means. See
Abscess; Bone, Diseased. The directions as to diet in cases of abscess
apply also to these cases. Besides such outward applications, the
rubbing along each side of the spine should be applied. See
Children's Healthy Growth. The ARMCHAIR FOMENTATION (see) may also be
The very rapid pulse, and extreme fever, which accompany advanced and
rapid consumption, may often be greatly mitigated by cooling cloths
applied over the heart. Sponging over the whole body with vinegar or
weak ACETIC ACID (see) also greatly refreshes the patient. It may be
done under the bedclothes, so as to avoid all possibility of chill.
Cold cloths over the heart and chest, if they cause chilliness, may be
accompanied with fomentation of the feet and legs.
The temperature of a consumptive should be recorded three times a day,
and if above normal the patient should stay in bed till it is reduced.
When the temperature has been reduced, gentle exercise is very useful.
Gradually increasing walks should be taken each day.