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ACUTE BRIGHT'S DISEASE. (Acute Inflammation of the Kidneys)

Categories: Kidney and Bladder

This occurs chiefly in young people and among grown men.
Exciting causes are exposure to cold, wet, burns, extensive skin tears

(lesions), scarlet fever, diphtheria, typhoid fever, measles and acute

tuberculosis, poisons; and pregnancy is one cause when it occurs in women.

Symptoms. After exposure or scarlet fever the onset may be sudden,

sometimes with chills or chilliness, variable fever, pain in the loins,

ery swelling of the face and extremities, then of other portions of the

body like the abdomen, then general dropsy. Sometimes there is nausea,

vomiting, headache, delirium, or very deep sleep. The urine is scanty,

dark colored, of increased "specific gravity" and contains albumin, cells

and casts. Anemia is marked. After some fever disease, the onset is

gradual with anemia, swelling of the eyelids, face and extremities; scanty

thickish urine containing casts, then headache, nausea, vomiting, little

or no fever, dry skin. In these cases there may be gradual recovery,

attack of uraemia, or they may end in chronic nephritis.

Diagnosis. Examine the urine often in pregnancy, scarlet fever, etc., and

especially when watery swelling is noticed.

Recovery. The result in your children when it comes with scarlet fever is

not so good. It may run into chronic nephritis. In adults when it is due

to exposure the rule is recovery.

Treatment. The patient must be kept in bed until there is complete

recovery. He should be clothed in flannel.

Diet and Nursing. This must be of milk, water or mineral water in large

quantities; milk or buttermilk should be the main article of food. You can

give gruels made of arrowroot or oatmeal, barley water, beef tea and

chicken broth. But it is better to stick strictly to milk. As the patient

gets better, bread and butter, lettuce, watercress, grapes, oranges, and

other fruits may be given. The return to a meat diet should be gradual.

The patient should drink freely of mineral waters, ordinary water or

lemonade, these keep the kidneys flushed and wash out the "debris" from

the tubes. One dram of cream of tartar in a pint of boiling water, add the

juice of half a lemon and a little sugar; this when taken cold is a

pleasant satisfactory diluting drink. Cream of tartar one dram, juice of

lemon, sugar sufficient, water one pint, may be given whenever desired.

There should be hot water baths daily or oftener; or you can produce

sweating by placing hot water jars around the patient, and watch to see

whether it is too weakening. It can also be done by introducing steam

underneath the bedding, that is then lifted a little, so that the steam

vapor can circulate about the patient. Be careful not to burn the patient

with the hot steam. This, of course, is done through a hose attached to a

steaming kettle. Also see treatment of dropsy under "scarlet fever."

Bowels, Attention to. They should be moved every morning by a saline

(salt) cathartic, if necessary, especially if the dropsy continues. This

produces watery stool. Cream of tartar and epsom salts, equal parts, is

good remedy; one-half teaspoonful every three hours for a child one year

old until the bowels move freely; one-half to one ounce can be given to an