To the bites and stings of various creatures man is exposed in most climates, and in all seasons of the year. These may be divided into three classes.
Bites of Mosquitoes and Spiders, and Sting’s of Bees and Wasps.
For these, the best applications are a solution of common salt, or water of ammonia, or sugar of lead (239), or laudanum, or tincture of iodine. If none of these are at hand, at the moment, cover the part with wet earth. Tincture of arnica (240) is a good application¬(See article on Bites, etc.)
Bites of Venomous Snakes. Either instantly cut out a piece from the bitten part, or apply caustic to prevent the absorption of the poison, or suction with the mouth will sometimes answer the same purpose. After doing one of these things, give arsenite of potash solution, twenty drops, in a little water, every two hours. Also purgative injections, stopping the arsenic when purging is well established; or drink freely of whiskey.
For the bite of the rattlesnake, a remedy is alcoholic drink, taken in large quantities, and immediately. Gin and whiskey are believed to be the best. Fill the system full. When the poison has begun to take effect, enormous quantities will be borne, before intoxication can be induced. Keep the whole person saturated until the symptoms decline.
The best treatment is the prescription of the saturated solution of permanganate of potassium applied directly to the wound and the dose of 1 to 2 grains diluted given by hypodermic injection about the wound.
Also a ligature applied in the form of a rope or twisted handkerchief between the bite and the heart, and twisted tight to stop the circulation, will prevent the entrance of the poison into the blood.
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