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Punctures Case Vii

Source: Application Of The Lunar Caustic In The Cure Of Certain Wounds And Ulcers

Mr. Parr, aged 30, of delicate habit, trod upon a needle which pierced
the ball of the great toe; a free crucial incision was made but the
needle could not be found; a poultice was applied to the wound and
over the poultice a cold lotion.

In the course of a week part of the needle came away. He did not rest
as he was enjoined to do, and, in consequence, severe inflammation
came on, and in two days time, fluctuation was perceived over the
joint, opposite to the puncture; a free incision was made, and some
pus was evacuated.

On the following day there was a free discharge, but very considerable
inflammation had taken place on the side of the ball of the toe; a
free incision was made in this part, and a fresh quantity of pus was

On the succeeding day, the inflammation was somewhat abated; but on
the next day, it had again become exasperated, and the openings made
for the evacuation of matter were somewhat closed by the swelling. I
now introduced the lunar caustic very freely into these openings, and
reapplied a cold poultice and lotion.

On the following day, I found that my patient had slept well for the
first time since the developement of inflammation, and had suffered
far less, after the smarting pain from the application of the caustic
had subsided, than before; the punctured orifices were open, and the
skin, which was extremely tense the day before, was become soft and

From this time, I found nothing necessary but to repeat the
application of the caustic about every third day to subdue
inflammation and to keep the wounds open, which it always effected.
The joint ever afterwards remained stiff, from which we may infer the
violence of the inflammation; and when we consider what was the
constitution of my patient, we cannot, I think, doubt that the caustic
prevented many serious events usually consequent in such cases under
the ordinary treatment.

It is highly worthy of remark, that the good effects of the
application of the caustic, in this case, were too immediate and
distinct to be mistaken.

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