Acute Inflammation of Veins. Phlebitis.
The veins are subject to attacks of acute inflammation, which constitutes a very dangerous, and often fatal, disease.
Symptoms. Fits of shivering, or perhaps fainting, a rapid pulse, anxiety of countenance, lowness of spirits, catching pains about the heart, and swelling, redness, tenderness and hardness along the course of the affected veins. Sometimes the tongue is furred brown or black, the skin is sallow, there is bilious vomiting, low delirium, and death. In cases less rapid, there are great swelling and redness over the diseased veins, and abscesses form, which, when opened, reveal clots of blood mixed with pus. Or, the patient, while remaining low, with a sallow countenance, and a yellow tongue, will complain suddenly of intense pain in some joint, as the knee or shoulder, in which there will be a rapid formation of pus; a similar suppuration will follow in other joints, as well as in the lungs, etc., until the patient sinks, and dies of exhaustion.
Treatment. Apply leeches freely over the inflamed veins, also fomentations. Every abscess should be opened early. Keep the bowels moderately open with some preparation of salts, and allay pain and restlessness by morphia. Support the strength by beef tea, etc.; and, if the pulse be feeble, give wine or quinine.
The suppuration may be checked, in this as in other complaints, by drinking freely of chamomile tea. The power to control suppuration has recently been discovered as belonging to chamomile flowers.
THIS is a far less serious disease than the preceding. It generally affects the veins of the legs.
Symptoms. Tenderness and hardness of the affected vein, with swelling around it, and of the parts below; a general painfulness of the limb. After the inflammation has subsided, the vein feels hard, like a cord, because the inflammation causes the blood within to coagulate, and harden, so that nothing can pass through the vessel.
Treatment. Leeches, fomentations or cold lotions, as the patient may choose, purgatives and rest, with the limb elevated. Subsequently, when the inflammation seems completely subdued, friction with camphorated oil and bandages.
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