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Source: Papers On Health
There are two opposite causes of unconsciousness. One
is congestion of the brain, the other sheer nerve exhaustion. Either
will produce a prolonged suspension of consciousness very different
from a mere passing faint. In the case of congestion, the head will be
hot and the feet cold. The cure is therefore at once seen to be to cool
the head and foment the feet in a hot blanket up to the knees. This is
the treatment usually to be given to young children. When aged people,
or those much exhausted from any cause, become unconscious from lack of
vitality, there will be rather a general coldness, and no special
heat in the head. We have seen such a case of "coma," which had lasted
for forty-eight hours, come all right in ten minutes, by simply
fomenting the back of the head and neck, and all down the spinal
column. Press a thickly-folded piece of flannel wrung out of hot water
carefully and gently over these parts, and often in a few minutes the
mental power comes back. Care must be taken not to scald the patient.