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Source: Papers On Health
Many valuable lives have been saved by an elementary
knowledge of what to do in the case of one apparently suffocated or
Commence treatment immediately in the open air, with the face down,
neck and chest exposed, and all tight clothing such as braces removed.
The points to be aimed at are--first and immediately, the Restoration
of Breathing; and secondly, after breathing is restored, the promotion
of Warmth and Circulation. The efforts to restore Breathing must be
commenced immediately and energetically, and persevered in for one or
two hours, or until a medical man has pronounced that life is extinct.
Efforts to promote Warmth and Circulation beyond removing the wet
clothes and drying the skin must not be made until the first appearance
of natural breathing, for if circulation of the blood be induced before
breathing has recommenced the restoration to life will be endangered.
First: Roll the patient over on his chest, with one of the arms under
the forehead, when the water will readily leave the mouth. Second: If
breathing does not recommence then, place him on his face, supporting
the chest on a roll of clothing. Turn the body gently on the side, then
briskly on the face repeating these movements, about 15 times in the
minute. (By placing him on his chest the weight of the body forces the
air out; when turned on the side air enters the chest). Five minutes is
the longest that can be afforded to this treatment. Third: Turn him
on his back, draw his tongue forward, keeping it forward by a band
passing over it and under the chin, placing the roll of clothing under
the shoulder blades. Then, kneeling at his head, grasp the arms just
below the elbows, draw them above the head, keeping them stretched for
about two seconds. Then turn down the arms and press them firmly for
two seconds against the sides of the chest. (The outstretched position
allows air to be drawn into the lungs, the other position allows it to
be pressed out.)
When a spontaneous effort to respire is observed, proceed to induce
Circulation and Warmth. This is accomplished by rubbing the limbs
upwards with firm grasp and pressure underneath the warm blankets, or
over the dry clothing which through bystanders or other means should
have been already procured, apply hot flannels, hot water bottles,
heated bricks, etc., to the pit of the stomach, the armpits, between
the thighs and the soles of the feet.
Allow abundance of fresh air to play about the patient. Administer a
teaspoonful of warm water, and then if the power of swallowing have
returned, give hot milk, coffee, etc., in small quantities. The patient
should be kept in bed and a disposition to sleep encouraged.
The above treatment should be persevered in for some hours, as it is an
erroneous opinion that persons are irrecoverable because life does not
soon make its appearance, persons having been restored after
persevering for many hours. The appearances which generally accompany
Death, are: Cessation of the heart's action, eyes half-closed, pupils
dilated, tongue approaching to the inner edges of the lips, lips and
nostrils covered with a frothy mucus. Coldness and pallor of surface
Cautions: Prevent crowding, avoid rough usage; if the body is on the
back have the tongue secured. Never hold up the body by the feet. Never
place the body in a warm bath, unless under medical direction, and even
then only momentarily.