Sources: 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.

See Fomentation.