Cooling In Heating

Sources: Papers On Health

Often it is difficult to get a sufficient cooling

effect by means of cold cloths without unduly chilling the patient.

When the head has to be cooled, as in the very dangerous disease

meningitis, the effect must pass through the mass of the skull before

reaching the brain. A large and long continued application is needed

for this. The surface is apt then to be overcooled before the interior

of the head is affected. In such a case the surface of the head, when

the patient feels it too cold, should be gently rubbed, as directed in

Eyes, Squinting, until this feeling goes off. Then the cooling may be

resumed. Or if rubbing be disagreeable, a warm cloth may be applied for

a short time, and cooling then resumed. In this way a succession of

waves of heating and cooling can for a long time be sent through the

surface, with good effect and no chill. The short heating restores the

surface, and does not interfere with the cooling effect reaching the

interior parts. The same principle applies to cooling any part of the

body (see Bathing). Any deep-seated inflammation is best reached in

this way.

For instance, in the large hip-joints it is of vast importance to reach

inflammatory action in parts that are not near the surface, and cold

cloths, pressed constantly, produce distress in the surface, if there

is no intermission in supplying them. The patient is apt to rush to the

conclusion that he must just yield to be blistered, painted with

iodine, covered with belladonna plaster, or burned with red-hot irons!

That is, he will yield to be made a great deal worse in every respect

than he is, because he is not aware that it is quite possible to cure

him without making him worse even for a moment.