Sources: 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.