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Source: Papers On Health
This is usually brought on by some excessive strain upon the
brain nerves, and may show itself either in the violent or in the
fainting form; it may even pass from the one to the other, fainting
alternating with violent movements and cries. It may often be checked
by plunging the patient's hands into cold water.
In the silent stage, where sometimes unconsciousness continues for
hours, a dry blanket should be laid on a bed, and another blanket must
be rolled up and prepared with hot water as directed in Fomentation.
Fold this until it is the size and shape of the patient's back, and lay
her down on it, so that the whole back is well fomented. Take care not
to burn the patient: soothing heat, not irritation, is required.
Consciousness will usually return almost immediately. All except
attendants should be excluded from the room. Allow the patient to rest
in this comfortable warmth until signs of discomfort appear, then
gently rub the back with hot olive oil, dry, and leave to rest or sleep
if possible. Do all with great steadiness of temper and kindness;
such a condition in the nurse is especially essential in these cases.
Where the fit is violent, apply every mental soothing influence
available, and remove from the room all excited persons. Then apply
cold cloths to the spine to soothe the irritated nerves and brain. Two
may gently and kindly hold the patient, while a third presses on the
cooling cloths. In about half-an-hour the fit should be overcome. A
difficulty in treating such cases is the terrifying effect of the
violent movements, or unconsciousness; but these should not create
fear. As a rule, a little patience and treatment as above remove all
distress. Where there is a hysterical tendency, give abundance of good
food, and let the patient live as much in the open-air as possible.
The patient should be kept employed. God made us all to be workers, and
this sad affliction is frequently the punishment of idleness. No one
has any excuse for this, for the world is full of those who are
overworked and whose burden could be lightened. The girl whose only
task is to exchange her armful of novels at the library will never know
what true happiness is, nor deserve to. See Imaginary Troubles.
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