Consumption Treatment Of

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.