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Diphtheria






Source: Papers On Health

The most striking symptom of diphtheria is the growth of a
substance in the upper part of the windpipe, which threatens to close
it entirely. Good medical skill is of first importance here, yet much
may be done where that is not available. We have often seen the
swallowing of a little hot water and treacle enable the children to
throw up the entire obstruction and make the breathing perfectly free.
Mark at once whether the feet are cold or warm. If cold, oil them well
with olive oil, and pack in a hot blanket fomentation to the knees.
When the feet and knees are thoroughly warm in this, put a cold cloth
on the back of the neck down between the shoulders. Change this as
often as felt comfortable. The throat may be brushed out with a weak
solution of Condy's Fluid, but a strong solution of common salt will do
very well. Good white vinegar and water (see Acetic Acid) is perhaps
best of all. We have never seen this fail in changing the character of
such growths, and if the windpipe can be washed out repeatedly with it,
we should feel sure of a desirable result. Now, we have seen a humble
working man's wife wash out the throat of her son as well as any
medical man could do it, using Condy's Fluid for the purpose with full
success. When you can, have the help of a medical man, but when you are
so placed that such help is impossible, you need not fear to try
yourself. If there is much fever, cold cloths may be applied to the
head to reduce the heat. As the disease is strongly infectious, care
should be taken to isolate the patient, and attendants should avoid his
breath. Abundance of fresh air and light should be allowed to enter the
room, and one window at least should be open as far as possible.





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