Falling of the Bowel. Prolapsis Ani.
IN cases of long continued looseness, the lower bowel of children sometimes gets so weakened that it drops down, and projects through the fundament. Occasionally, only the mucous membrane which lines it comes down, in the shape of a small tumor, causing a sense of bearing down and smarting. These fallings down occur when the child goes to stool. Whether it be the bowel or the lining membrane which has come down, if it be allowed to remain long down, inflammation will take place, and to return it will then be very difficult.
Treatment. Place the child upon his back, and, having smeared the thumbs, or forefingers, with lard or sweet oil, press them gently upon the tumor in such direction as shall tend to return it within the body. If this does not succeed, push the forefinger into the gut, so as to relax the circular muscle which contracts upon and holds it. If the falling is caused by straining at stool, made necessary by costiveness, some ripe fruit stewed in molasses, or rye hasty pudding and molasses, should be given to the child daily, and it should be caused to empty the bowels while standing up. To strengthen the bowel, few things are better than cold water, applied to the fundament several times a day. An astringent wash of oak bark (232) is also valuable. Should the bowel become so much relaxed that these means fail, a tight bandage must be applied to support the fundament. Be careful that some ignorant pretender does not as has happened apply the ligature or the knife, and cut off the tumor,instead of returning it into the body. Feed upon the simplest ofliquid food.
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