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Delirium In Fever
Source: Papers On Health
The best way of treating this truly distressing
symptom is by cooling and soothing applications to the head. We have
seen in one case large cool cloths applied to the head for some time
every three hours or so. An almost immediate cessation of the delirium
followed this application, and it only returned a few minutes before
the time for the next cooling. If the pulse becomes rather slow than
rapid, and the body rather cool than hot, while delirium still
continues, then hot cloths may be applied to the head. When either hot
or cold appliances are removed, rub olive oil into the roots of the
hair, and dry off.
An excellent treatment is also to cover the whole head with soap
lather. See Head, Soaping.
It is to be noted that the state of the patient determines the
treatment. If he is hot, cold treatment is required. If he is cool or
chilly, then give the warm treatment. If he changes from hot to cold,
then alter the treatment accordingly.
In some diseases delirium occurs, not because of fever, but because of
poisonous elements in the blood supplied to the brain. This is the case
in liver and kidney troubles, when waste products are not got rid of by
these organs as they should be.
To get these organs to work, the best thing is to drink half a
teacupful of hot water every ten minutes for two hours at a time. Do
this once a day for two days. Probably it will cause purging, but that
is part of the cure. If the case does not yield in any way to this, a
large hot bran poultice should be placed over the whole of the right
side under the arm, from the spine right round to the breast-bone
(see Bran Poultice). This should be renewed if necessary, so as to
keep up the heat for an hour. Next day place a similar poultice over
all the lower part of the back, so as to help the kidneys and bowels.
Dry after these poultices, and rub gently with warm olive oil. The
delirium will usually yield to a few days of such treatment. We have
seen the reason under such treatment return with a rapidity that
astonished the medical attendant. He had given the patient three months
to gain what was complete in less than one. See Fever.
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