Sources: Papers On Health
An ordinary bed which has not been slept in for some weeks,
although perfectly dry to begin with, will become damp, even in a dry
house, and, unless properly dried, will be a great danger to its next
occupant. This is a preventable danger, and all who entertain guests
should see that they are not exposed to it. Many a fatal illness is due
to the culpable carelessness of those who put a guest into such a bed.
Ignorance in such a matter is shameful. All who have charge in a house
should fully understand their responsibility in this matter.
But if you are put into such a bed it is infinitely better to rise and
dress, and make the best of a night of discomfort, than to sleep among
the damp. If, however, you have so slept, and feel the bad effect, the
best cure will be the SOAPY BLANKET (see). If this cannot be had, a
good hot footbath, with the heat kept just comfortable for half-an-hour
or more, will do very well. This should be done at the earliest
It will add greatly to the efficiency of such treatment if hot water
can be had to drink in small quantities, and often. A few drops of
cayenne "tea" in the water will act as a gentle stimulant.
Old-fashioned folk place great confidence in a "hot drink" in such a
case. This is all very well if they only keep the alcohol out of it:
that destroys vital resources, but never supplies them. We have known
cases in which all power was lost through a single night in a damp bed.
Possibly in these cases it might not have been easy to restore the lost
vitality by any amount of treatment; but we rather think that a speedy
application of genial heat all over would have restored it. In some
apparently hopeless instances it has done so.