Sources: Papers On Health

In all fevers, to cool down the excessive heat of the patient

(see Heat, Internal) is the best process of treatment. This may be

best done by continued cooling of the head. Have a towel well wrung out

of cold water. Fold it so as to envelop the head. Press it gently to

the head all round, changing the place of pressure frequently. Have a

second towel ready, and continue cooling with freshly cooled towels

perhaps for an hour or an hour-and-a-half. Then leave the last cold

towel on, and put a dry towel above it. The next cooling, when the

fever heat again arises, may be given, if it can be managed, by placing

a cold towel along the spine. Cover this with a dry one, and let the

patient lie on it. Change this, though not quite so frequently as in

the case of the head. Work carefully and gently, so as not to annoy

the patient. If ice can be had, it may be put in the water used to cool

the cloths. If the feet be cold, foment them in a blanket (see

Fomentation). Keep this on the feet for an hour. There will most likely

be great relief with even one course of such treatment. It must,

however, be persevered in until the fever be conquered. In any case

of fever, when a patient is too weak to bear the hot fomentation and

cold towels, we would recommend rubbing the feet and limbs if cold with

hot oil, and the stomach and chest, and if possible the back with soap

lather. It is well at first to soap the stomach only, and for some

time; and each time till the last it is well to wipe off what you have

rubbed on, so that the skin may be as clean as possible for the next.

To do this only once is often quite sufficient to soothe, so that the

patient falls off into a gentle, natural sleep.

Now, no one need imagine that there is any difficulty in the way of

anyone carrying out the right treatment. We have known a young sister

who saw her brother brought home in fever. The medical man predicted a

long and serious illness, and the necessity of being prepared for all

the usual features of such a case. The sister heard all in thoughtful

silence, but when the doctor went away she said to herself, "May not I

lower this flame? At any rate I will try." So through the night she so

effectually cooled her brother's head that when the medical man came

next day he expressed his most agreeable disappointment, saying, "It is

to be a very light case after all." So it turned out to be, but it

would not have been so but for that brave sister's aid. We cannot but

earnestly beseech all who have the opportunity to go and do likewise.

Often, especially among the poor, dirt and hot, close air have made the

fever room a source of frightful danger to all around. Absolute

cleanliness, abundance of pure air, and disinfection of the stools,

should always be attended to.