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PNEUMONIA (Lobar) Lung Fever
Category: Infectious Diseases
Inflammation of the lungs. This is an acute
infectious disease characterized by an exudative inflammation of one or
more lobes of the lungs, with constitutional symptoms due to the
absorption of toxins (poison), the fever terminating by crisis (suddenly).
In speaking of pneumonia you frequently hear the expression "the lungs are
filling up." This is the real condition. The structures surrounding the
air cells are inflamed and from the inflamed tissues a secretion exudate
is poured out into the cells. This is expectorated, thrown out, by
coughing; but it is poured out into the cells faster than it can be spit
up and consequently it remains in some of the cells and fills them up.
The air does not get into such cells and they fill, with many others, and
make that section solid. When the patient is improving he keeps on
spitting this up, until all is out and the air cells resume their normal
work. Sometimes they remain so and we have chronic pneumonia.
Causes of Pneumonia. Pneumonia occurs frequently as a complication of
other diseases, such as typhoid fever and measles. Yet the majority of
cases occur spontaneously. Many times the disease seems to be induced by
exposure to the cold, and there can be no doubt that such exposure does at
least promote the development of this affection. It seems, however,
probable that there is some special cause behind it without which the
exposure to cold is not sufficient to induce this disease. Pneumonia may
occur at any period of life, and is more common among males than females.
It occurs over the entire United States, oftener in the southern and
middle, than in the Northern States; it is more frequently met with during
the winter and spring months than at other times in the year.
Symptoms. The onset is usually abrupt with a severe chill and chills
lasting from fifteen minutes to an hour, with the temperature suddenly
rising and an active fever. There is usually intense pain in a few hours,
generally in the lower part of the front of the chest, made worse by
breathing and coughing. The patient lies on the affected side so as to
give all chance for the other lung to work, cheeks are flushed, with
anxious expression; the wings of the nostrils move in and out with each
breath. The cough is short, dry and painful. Rapid, shallow, jerky
breathing, increasing to difficult breathing. On the first day the
characteristic expectoration mixed with blood appears (called rusty).
Pulse runs from 100 to 116, full bounding, but may be feeble and small in
serious cases. After three or four days the pain disappears, the
temperature keeps to 104 or 105, but falls quickly the seventh, fifth,
eighth, sixth and ninth day in this order of frequency. In a few hours,
usually twelve, the temperature falls to normal or below, usually with
profuse sweating and with quick relief to all symptoms. This relief from
distressing symptoms is, of course, a time of rejoicing to both patient
and friends and the patient and nurse may feel inclined to relax a little
from the strict observance of rules followed up to this time. Do not,
under any circumstances, yield to such folly. Keep patient properly
covered, as he is weak from the strain and the pores are open.
Convalescence is usually rapid. A prolonged rise of temperature after the
crisis may be regarded as a relapse. Death may occur at any time after the
third day from sudden heart failure, or from complications such as
pleurisy, nephritis, meningitis, pericarditis, endocarditis, gangrene of
MOTHERS' REMEDIES. 1. Lungs, Salt Pork for Inflammation of. "Salt pork
dipped in hot water, then covered thick with black pepper. Heat in the
oven and lay or bind on the throat and lungs."
2. Lungs, Raspberry Tincture for Inflammation of. "Take one-half pound of
honey, one cup water; let these boil; take off the scum; pour boiling hot
upon one-half ounce lobelia herb and one-half ounce cloves; mix well, then
strain and add one gill of raspberry vinegar. Take from one teaspoonful to
a dessertspoonful four times a day. Pleasant to take."
3. Lungs, Herb Ointment for Congestion of.
"Oil of Turpentine 1/2 ounce
Oil of Hemlock 1/2 ounce
Oil of Peppermint 1/2 ounce
Oil of Feverweed 1/2 ounce
Mix this with one cup warm lard."
Rub this ointment on throat or lungs and apply a flannel over it. Heat it
through thoroughly with hot cloths. If used thoroughly and the cold is
taken in time will prevent pneumonia.
4. Lungs, Mullein for Congestion. "The mullein leaves may be purchased at
any drug store or gathered in the fields. Make a tea of the leaves by
steeping them. Add enough water to one tablespoon mullein to make a pint,
which will be three doses, taken three times a day." This is a very good
5. Lungs, Salve for Weak.
"Bees Wax 1 ounce
Rosin 1 ounce
Camphor Gum 1 ounce
Lard about the size of an egg."
The beeswax forms sort of a coating and may remain on for several hours.
This is very good.
PHYSICIANS' TREATMENT FOR LUNGS. The home treatment should be to put the
patient to bed and try to produce sweating. This will cause the blood to
leave the congested lung and return to the full regular circulation. By
doing this, you not only relieve the congested lung, but also the pain. If
the patient is stout and strong, give him the "corn sweat" under La Grippe
(see index); or you can put bottles of hot water about the patient. Use
fruit jars, wrap cloths around them so that you will not burn the patient.
Always put one to the feet. If you have a rubber water bag, fill that and
put it to his affected side over the pain. After you get him into a sweat
you can remove a little, of the sweating remedy at a time and when all are
removed give him a tepid water sponging. By this time the physician will
be at hand. If you give medicine you can put fifteen drops of the Tincture
of Aconite in a glass one-half full of water and give two teaspoonfuls of
this every fifteen minutes for four doses. Then give it every one-half
hour. Water can be given often, but in small quantities; plain milk alone,
or diluted, or beaten with eggs will make a good diet and keep up the
Fomentations. Cloths wrung out of hot hop tea are often applied to the
affected part with good effect. Be careful about wetting the patient.
Flaxseed poultices are used.
If used they must be moist and hot. Some doctors are opposed to them. An
antiphlogistine poultice is good. Apply it hot. For children you can
grease the whole side of the chest, back and front, with camphor and lard
and put over that an absorbent cotton jacket. In the early life of the
country, home treatment was necessary. Men and women were posted on herbs,
etc. Teas made of them were freely and successfully used. A great mistake
made was the indiscriminate use of lobelia in too large doses. We have
learned that the hot herb drinks in proper doses are of help. Teas made of
boneset, hoarhound, pennyroyal, ginger, catnip, hops, slippery elm, etc.,
were good and are now. They produced the desired result--sweating--and
relieved the congestion of the internal organs and re-established the
external or (peripheral) circulation. So in the home treatment of
pneumonia, etc., if you are so situated that you cannot get a physician
use teas internally for sweating, fomentations upon the painful part and
if done properly and not too excessively, they will accomplish the desired
result. With the corn sweat, I have saved many lives.
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