Ice-water And Snow-bath In Malignant Cases

Sources: Hydriatic Treatment Of Scarlet Fever In Its Different Forms

If no rash appear during the first pack, which will scarcely fail, the

proceeding should be repeated, and the patient stay longer in the pack

than the first time. In very bad cases, when the patient fails at once

under the action of the poison (malignant scarlet-fever) iced water or

snow may be resorted too. I know several instances of patients, having

been given up by their physicians, reviving again under the influence of

a snow-bath, which produced a healthy reaction, when nothing else was of

avail. I have never had occasion myself to resort to such extremes, cold

water having always answered my purposes; but I would not hesitate a

minute to use snow and ice in a case where I could think it useful and

necessary. Such proceedings _look_ cruel; but it _is_ decidedly more

cruel to let the patient's life be destroyed from want of timely

assistance. I distinctly remember a case, which occurred in Cassel, when

the physician objected to "tormenting the poor boy," and wanted the

father to "let him die in peace." But the father, who had some

knowledge of, and a great deal of confidence in hydriatics, put the

little patient, a boy of 8 or 9 years, into a bathing-tub filled for the

greater part with snow, covered him over with the cold material, and

left him there till he became conscious; then he was rubbed all over,

placed in a dry pack (without a sheet), and left to perspire, which

ensued and brought out the rash. The patient was out of danger in four

hours' time, and Dr. S., on calling again in the evening, was quite

astounded at seeing him alive, out of bed, and covered with a tolerably

bright eruption.