Concussion of the Brain.
Concussion is a sudden interruption of the functions of the brain owing to a blow or other mechanical injury. It is more than probable that in most cases of concussion injury is received by the brain tissue. Slight concussion may cause the patient to lose his balance and fall, become pallid, confused, and giddy, possibly be nauseated and vomit, but after a period of rest he will gradually recover. In more severe injury the injured person will fall and lie quietly, the heart's action will be feeble and fluttering, the skin cold and clammy and unconsciousness ensue, from which he can be at least partially aroused as a rule; urine and feces may be discharged involuntarily, sometimes convulsions ensue. Returning consciousness, which usually takes place within twenty-four hours, is generally accompanied by vomiting; but stupor, called coma, or meningitis may occur, or eventually abscess of the brain, epilepsy, or insanity.
Arnica. This remedy takes the first rank in concussion of the brain, as it seems to act directly upon the lacerated brain tissue and ruptured blood vessels; there is aching, soreness, vertigo and nausea if the patient is conscious; in unconsciousness the feces and urine may be passed involuntarily. A dose every hour.
Opium. The injured person is in a profound stupor, but can be aroused for a moment by being spoken to in a loud tone of voice, then relapses into his former condition; extremities and face bluish or livid; loud, labored respiration, and coldness of the skin. Give as above.
Camphor. When opium fails, and there are signs of collapse; cold hands and feet; cold, clammy sweat; trembling tongue, and trembling of the hands when raised; retention of the urine; weak pulse. A dose every fifteen minutes to one hour.
Put the patient in bed as soon as possible, without any pillow; surround him with hot water bags, taking precautions against possible burns; apply mustard plasters to the calves of the legs; do not give alcoholic stimulants, but if a stimulant is necessary a ten drop dose of aromatic spirits of ammonia in water.
Severe jars of any kind or a hard blow on the head may produce very serious injury. At first there is only a general bruised feeling and lameness, but often this does not wholly pass away or else returns whenever the person is tired, and there may be trembling of the limbs, general prostration, and often the eyes look somewhat dull and sunken.
It will prevent much future trouble in these cases if, when no in jury to the bones of the spine or any organ is discoverable, Hypericum in five or ten drop doses of the tincture is administered at once, twice or three times a day.
Men there is any local inflammation or congestion, as may happen when concussion is from a blow, Arnica may be given.
Rest, treatment by electricity or massage are helpful in these cases when the symptoms show a tendency to become chronic.
Sprains and Strains.
IN a sprain there is a sudden wrench or twist of the tendons or ligaments, with frequently complete or incomplete rupture of some of their fibres. A strain may be more or less severe, and affect the muscles in any part of the body. A sprain may be complicated by a fracture or dislocation; generally a broken bone can be detected by touch, but when there is a fracture in the ankle of the articulating surface of one of the ankle bones it cannot be discovered by touch. This explains many cases of stiff joints after sprains.
The pain of a strain is instant and severe, and often attended by faintness; then follows swelling, with discoloration later on and weakness and stiffness on the part. Often the patient cannot bear any weight on the injured limb for several days, or even move it, without pain.
Arnica.Recent sprains or strains, with a bruised appearance and bruised, sore feeling; swelling and puffiness.
Rhus Tox.Vvlen the tendons are injured; especially when the joints feel stiff and paralyzed, either from sprains, overlifting or overstretching; lameness, stiffness and pain on first moving after rest, better on continued motion; trembling in the limbs.
Calendula. In place of Araica, for patients peculiarly sensitive to the latter drug, and in whom it causes skin eruptions.
Ruta. Lameness af ter sprains, especially of the wrists and ankles; fluid in the joints due to strains; especially after sprains and strains in persons subject to rheumatism. A dose every three hours.
A dose of the indicated remedy every one or two hours. Immerse the injured part in water as hot as can be borne for half an hour, then apply gauze or cheese cloth wet in arnica or calendula tincture, cover with absorbent cotton and bandage firmly, exerting an even pressure. NVhen it is impossible to keep the injured limb at rest, splints should be applied, or the joint strapped with straps of adheĀsive plaster. After swelling and inflammation subside, massage with arnica or calendula oil is highly beneficial, and friction and passive motion of the parts to prevent stiffening of the joint. Mile inflamĀmation and swelling continue, the limb should be elevated. Use cold salt water baths with friction for a weak back or weak ankles; bandagĀing the latter may be required for support.
Fractures and Dislocations.
After. the reduction of a dislocation, and to alleviate pain and soreness, compresses wet with arnica or calendula tincture and water, one to ten, may be applied. Arnica may be given internally, or when fever and restlessness follow the breaking or dislocation of bones, Aconite will prove serviceable.
There are two remedies very helpful when the ends of broken bones are slow in uniting, one of these is Calcarea phos. especially suited to fair, fleshy persons of a lymphatic temperament, and to those of a scrofulous tendency; there is no formation of new bone cells or tissue about the ends of the bones. Symphytum is another excellent remedy, especially in fracture of the knee pan or of the thigh bone, or where some disturbance of nerve nutrition or of the nervous system is the apparent cause of lack of union.
Although the subject of fractures and dislocations is ably discussed elsewhere, emphasis is again laid on the important point that a person with a broken arm or leg should not be moved without some support being given to the injured member. If there is no board or similar substitute to which the broken limb can be fastened, bind a leg to its fellow, or place an arm in a sling. A fracture where the soft parts and large blood vessels are uninjured, may often be made a complicated one by carelessness in moving the patient.
A clean-cut wound is termed incised; one made by some pointed instrument, punctured; one with ragged edges, lacerated; one caused by bruising the parts as with a blunt instrument, with little or no abrasion of the surface, contused.
Aconite. High fever; full, rapid pulse; restlessness and anxiety following injuries, and accompanied by inflammation of the parts. It takes the place of the old method of "bleeding" and is far superior to it in relieving congestion.
Calendula. Torn, ragged wounds, or when a portion of the flesh has been torn away; to prevent suppuration, and hasten healing.
Arnica. Bruises; black and blue spots; contused wounds, with effusion of blood to the surface; bruised sore feeling; injuries where clots form; congested or black eyes, etc.
Hypericum. Punctured or crushed wounds; gunshot wounds; crushed finger or lacerated wounds of the fingers or toes; severe, constant pain indicating injury to the nerves; also a preventive of lockjaw in wounds of the sole of the foot or palm of the hand as from a nail.
A dose of the indicated remedy every one to three hours. A slight cut should be washed in cold water, and a small piece of calendulated court plaster applied when the bleeding ceases. If bleeding continues, use styptic cotton.
Deeper cuts should be washed clean with gauze or soft cotton cloth freely wet with some antiseptic such as listerine and water, one part of the former to four or five of the latter, or bichloride of mercury I to 2,000, and narrow strips of adhesive plaster applied to hold the lips of the wound together; cover with a pad of styptic or absorbent cotton, and bandage firmly. In changing a dressing, soften the old one with an antiseptic wash; remove gently, and make an entirely fresh application.
In case of a wound made by a rusty nail, encourage bleeding by placing the injured part in warm water; dress with a pad of lint or gauze wet with ten or fifteen drops calendula or hypericum tincture to an ounce of water, and bandage.
Bleeding from Wounds. Hemorrhage.
Bleeding. from wounds requires prompt local treatment. Arnica or Calendula may be given internally, but no remedy given in this way lessens the necessity for immediate attention to the wound itself. After there has been excessive hemorrhage China is recommended as an admirable remedy for the debility, faintness, dizziness and nausea caused by the loss of blood.
Bleeding from a vein can be checked by a stream of cold or very hot water; by ice, pressure, and elevating the part. Blood from a vein is dark, and flows steadily, blood from an artery is bright red, and spurts out in jets. In the latter case, lose no time. If a limb is injured, grasp it firmly above the wound, i.e., on the side nearest the heart; apply at this point a knotted handkerchief, or a strong strip of cloth, bringing the knot over the artery. To tighten this improvised tourniquet, insert a stick in the knot and twist it about, once or twice. Summon surgical aid. Water at 120' F. is of great value on bleeding surfaces. Powdered alum or tannin will also arrest bleeding.
Bruises may often prove very painful, and a blow on a portion of the body but slightly protected by soft tissues, such as the skin, may injure the bone itself, and set up an inflammation in the tissues covering it. Cold applications may be made to an ordinary contusion, and if possible before any discoloration takes place. To ice cold water add one tenth the amount of tincture of arnica or calendula, or use as a lotion a solution of chloride of ammonium, five grains, to one ounce of alcohol. Extract of witch hazel, as hamamelis is popularly called, is soothing and healing. Do not make ice cold applications to very severe contusions as there is danger of deadening the skin; hot application ' s are better, and the lotion mentioned above. Do not allow wet compresses to become dry.
A blow on the breast does not cause cancer as many persons suppose, but it does render the tissues susceptible to degenerative changes so that abscesses or tumors may develop. Compresses wet with tincture of conium and water, the same strength as arnica lotion, should be applied. This is a valuable remedy taken internally in swelling, soreness and pain in the breasts, and when bard lumps form.
A kick or blow on the shin should be promptly treated, and when the bone feels sore, Ruta should be taken internally, and applied externally also.
Injury to a Nerve.
There, are several injuries a nerve may sustain that will call for special treatment. A nerve may be divided by wounds; lacerated in fractures; compressed by dislocations, tumors, new growths of bone tissue where the ends of a broken bone are uniting, or by faulty postures. It is of great importance to find out the cause of inflammation of a nerve, because unless that is removed no remedy can be expected to cure the condition.
Arnica. In simple injury, especially at an early stage, and when in the nature of a bruise or compression. A dose every two hours.
Hypericum. In chronic cases or cases due to lacerated wounds, with intolerable excruciating pain showing that the nerves are severely injured, or after punctured or crushed wounds, or in acute pain after surgical operations, especially amputations, when no easing of the dressings seems to give any relief.
Arnica, hypericum or calendula tincture may be applied as a lotion externally, twenty drops to half a cupful of water, in connection with the use of the same remedy internally. Calendula externally should be substituted for arnica in torn, ragged wounds. shock.
AFTER bad accidents, falls, wounds, fright, or following surgical operations, shock to the nervous system is a common and dangerous condition. The symptoms are those given in the indications for the following remedies. Those for Aconite will be found under " Burns and Scalds."
Veratrum Album. Face cold and sunken; cold sweat on the face, and all over the body; pulse rapid or slow; feeble, irregular, intermittent, hardly to be felt.
Carbo Veg. Face blue, body cold, especially below the knees to the feet; cold sweat on the limbs; pulse intermittent and thready.
Camphor. Sudden and rapid prostration, with tendency to collapse from shock; icy coldness of the body; very weak pulse.
If there is bleeding from a wound it should be arrested, as directed under "Wounds." The patient should be covered with blankets; the head kept low; hot water bottles or hot bricks placed near the body, care being taken to avoid burns; a small quantity of whiskey or brandy given by mouth if the patient can swallow, or hot black coffee, or twenty drops of aromatic spirits of ammonia, or strychnia 150 grain. Subcutaneous injections are absorbed more rapidly.
Bites and stings of Insects.
THE, best remedy to use both internally and externally is ledum, especially for mosquito bites, a drop of the tincture in a teaspoonful of water every half hour internally; one part tincture to ten parts water externally. If there is much puffiness and swelling, with persistent itching, try Apis.
Remove the sting if possible. This may generally be accomplished by pressure with a key, the hollow barrel of which should be placed over the sting. Apply lint or absorbent cotton soaked in ledum or ammonia. If nothing else is at hand, cover the bite with a piece of raw onion, or wet fresh clay or earth. Oil of pennyroyal or spirits of camphor rubbed on the face and hands will often drive away mosquitos.
Wry Neck. Torticollis.
From exposure to draughts or damp weather, the muscles of one side of the neck may contract rheumatism, and become hard, rigid, very painful on motion, and sensitive to touch; the head may be drawn to one side. This condition is rheumatic torticollis, and there are other forms, one existing at birth when there is shortening of the muscles on that side of the neck, and others due to diseases of the nervous system, injury to the parts, etc. The treatment suggested is chiefly for rheumatic torticollis.
Aconite. From a draught or chill; tearing pains in the nape of neck, extending to shoulder, worse on motion; especially for recent cases.
Bryonia. Painful, stiff neck, worse from touch or motion, in rheumatic subjects or in damp weather.
Cimicifuga. Fixed, voluntary position of the head; rheumatic pain and stiffness in muscles of neck and back; sensitiveness of spine.
Dulcamara. From damp, cold, and wet; pain in the nape of the neck, as after lying with the head in an uncomfortable position.
A dose of any of the above mentioned remedies every one or two hours. Also Gelsemium in wry neck, with muscular pains from the spine to the head and shoulders; bruised sensation; congestion of the spine; prostration and languor. Strychnia Phos. Nervous cases, with much debility, impoverished blood, and digestive disturbances. A dose three times a day.
In rheumatic torticollis, wear a flannel about the neck; running a hot iron over several layers of flannel is beneficial, or friction using a lotion made of equal parts of capsicum and glycerin.
GOITRE, is an enlargement of the thyroid gland in the neck not dependent upon inflammation of malignant formations. The tumor that forms may be on one or both sides, is not painful or tender, and varies in size under different bodily conditions. The disease occurs more often in women than in men, and in localities where the water is impregnated with lime salts. Breathing and swallowing may be interfered with in some cases.
Iodine. Recent and soft goiters especially. This is the leading remedy, and the affected part may be painted with the tincture.
Spongia. Thyroid gland swollen and hard with suffocative attacks at night.
Also in goitre in syphilitic persons Mercurius Iod. or Kali Iod. will be found useful. A dose of the indicated remedy two or three times a day, and its use persisted in for months. Galvanism has benefited many cases m young persons. Boiled or soft water should be drunk. Surgical interference may be called for, or injections of iodine, or the. introduction of the electric needle. ,
Hernia or Rupture.
THE different forms of hernia are described at length earlier in the book, with the treatment commonly resorted to by skillful practitioners of all schools. Medicines are of secondary importance in these cases, and local treatment should never be neglected. There is always the danger that a simple protrusion of the bowel may become irreducible, and strangulation and even gangrene take place. Internal remedies are helpful in infantile hernia, and in cases where there is constriction due to inflammation or spasmodic contraction of the muscles.
Aconite. Strangulated hernia; inflammation, with burning pain in the affected part; vomiting of bile; great anxiety and cold sweat.
Belladonna. Intense local inflammation, the tumor being exceedingly sensitive to the touch.
Nux Vom. Feeling of weakness in the abdomen on rising in the morning; constipation; strangulation, with vomiting or nausea, or both; indications of approaching gangrene with green or yellowish green spots on the tumor.
Also Plumbum when Belladonna and Nux have failed to relieve the above symptoms, and there is intense pain.
It may be emphasized that attempts at reduction of a hernia should always be gentle, not continued more than fifteen minutes, and never made if gangrene is suspected; also that the part of the intestine that came out last is to be reduced first. A well fitting truss should always be applied to even a rupture that gives no discomfort. Men who are stout, or whose work is very laborious, and who have any weakness of the abdominal walls, should wear an elastic abdominal band or belt.
Inflammation of the Joints Synovitis and Arthritis.
INFLAMMATION may attack only the lining membrane of the joint cavity, the synovial membrane, or it may affect the bone, these parts having the most blood vessels which, in inflammation, become highly congested. A strain, a wound, or exposure to cold may be the exciting cause of inflammation, while gout, rheumatism, syphilis or tuberculosis frequently precede joint disease.
In simple acute cases there is redness, heat, pain on motion of the affected joint a hard swelling which later on becomes filled with synovial fluid; the latter contains material that may form bands of fibrous matter which will make the joint stiff. An acute attack may pass into the chronic form, especially in gouty or rheumatic persons.
In infective cases, as in rheumatic and gouty arthritis, the condition is more serious, for suppuration may take place, intense pain and tenderness, adhesions and deposits form, and even after acute symptoms subside, the joints remain swollen, enlarged and misshapen.
Arnica To be given at once after any injury to a joint, and a weak lotion of the tincture to be applied externally.
Aconite. Acute cases, with moderate swelling, much redness and heat, pricking pain, high fever, with great restlessness.
Belladonna. Joints bright red and swollen; cutting, drawing pain, skin very hot to the touch; great sensitiveness to touch or pressure, but can bear firm pressure better than light touch; high fever.
Bryonia. joints pale red, swollen, stiff, with stitching pains on the slightest motion; effusion of fluid; follows well after the preceding remedies. Apis may be given instead of Bryonia in scrofulous persons, with sharp, stinging pains, effusion, and much pale swelling of the joints.
Pulsatilia. Erratic, shifting, tearing pains in the joints, and nearby parts, relieved by pressure, and generally better from cold.
Also Iodine or Calcarea Garb. In cases of scrofulous makeup, tending to become chronic. Sulphur following the remedies given above to hasten absorption of the fluid in the joints.
Rest in bed is necessary, and keeping the affected joint quiet. Apply a flannel bandage, exerting moderately firm pressure. If there is a great deal of effusion, the fluid may have to be drawn off by an aspirator needle, and carbolic acid or boracic acid solution injected. Painting the joint with iodine or ichthyol will be beneficial. White Swelling, Tubercular Arthritis.
INFECTION Of the joints by the tubercle bacillus may take place at any age, but is most common in young people. There is dull pain, worse by motion or jarring; tenderness on pressure; more or less swelling, and exudation of fluid; the joint grows rigid, the muscles above and below waste away, the skin becomes white and shining.
Calearea Phos. This is a valuable remedy in these cases, with crawling, tingling pains; progressive emaciation, weakness, and debility; symptoms better from rest and lying down; the swelling is white and waxy, and has a boggy or puttylike feel.
Silicea. White swelling, with suppuration, and openings into the joint discharging pus or thin, offensive matter. Also Sulphur in long lasting cases, which make no progress; stick mg, drawing pains in the joints; cramp like pains in the legs. Mercurius .Especially in cases where there is a syphilitic taint, with tendency to complete destruction of the joint; aching, stabbing pains, worse at night and from warmth; free perspiration which does not relieve the pain. A dose of the indicated remedy three times a day, and its use persisted in.
The constitutional treatment is of the greatest importance in these cases. The system must be built up by an abundance of simple, nourishing food, cod liver oil, the malt extracts and hypophosphites; life out of doors must be sought; good ventilation indoors; bodily cleanliness, and warmth. The local treatment required is frequently surgical.
Burns and Scalds.
Aconite. A valuable remedy immediately after bad or extensive burns, when there is intense restlessness, anxiety and fear of dying from the injury; the pulse being hard and frequent.
Cantharis. Superficial burns, and when there is superficial ulceration; burns with great redness of the skin as in erysipelas; spasms in children after being burnt.
Urtica Urens. Superficial burns, with intense burning, biting and crawling sensations.
Rhus Tox. Deeper burns and scalds, causing many blisters, with tendency to matterate.
A dose of the indicated remedy every half hour to one or two hours. Superficial burns or scalds, in which the effect of the heat has extended only to the superficial layer of the skin, may be treated by the application of soft cotton cloth or absorbent cotton saturated with a solution of bicarbonate of soda, one drachm to one ounce of water, or with tincture of urtica urens one part to twenty parts water. A thick paste made of bicarbonate of soda and olive oil is an excellent application. Blisters may be evacuated by using a needle, which should first be cleansed in boiling water or the flame of a lamp, then allowed to cool. Men pus forms, cleanse the surface with peroxide of hydrogen; iodoform or boracic acid may afterwards be used as a dressing. Calendula water and calendula oil are among the best healing applications. Consult the section on "Shock" for further remedies and treatment for the general condition.
Caries. Necrosis Death of Bone.
IN caries the bone dies cell by cell; in necrosis the bone dies as a whole, that is a considerable portion of its structure softens, swells, and mortifies. In ulceration or death of the bone an abscess forms and opens on the surface, discharging pus or other offensive matter. The treatment is chiefly surgical, but remedies are of great service in improving the constitutional condition.
Silicea. Sticking, burning pains; then offensive ichorous discharge; much proud flesh; abscess openings which do not heal; discharge of particles of dead bone; hard lumps following suppuration.
Arnica.Bruised, sore pain in the bones, skin red, hot, and swollen, tender and sore on pressure; better from warmth; disease of the bone following a fall or blow; should be given early.
Also Aurum with inflammation and ulceration of the bones; horribly offensive discharge; syphilitic cases. Calcarea Phos. Ulceration of bones in fair, flabby persons of a scrofulous constitution.
Mercurius Viv. Constant aching in the bones, sweating and exhaustion; swelling of the bones; abscess in the joints.
A dose of the indicated remedy three times a day. Surgical advice must be sought in these cases. Rest, drainage and the removal of diseased tissue are essential.
BED sores are due to pressure, especially on a bony portion of the body, generally from lying much in one position. The skin grows red, and if pressure is not relieved there will be increasing congestion and eventually ulceration. The principal remedy to be taken internally is Arsenicum. The symptoms of bad cases may be found under "Gangrene" for both Arsenicum and Lachesis.
Preventive measures are highly important. In order to prevent bed sores, tuck the bottom sheet in tightly on all sides; keep it smooth and free from wrinkles and crumbs. Bathe the parts night and morning, where pressure comes, with equal parts of alcohol and water; dry the skin thoroughly, dust on a little powdered starch. If the surface shows much redness, or signs of breaking down, use boric acid or calendula in powdered form, instead of starch.
Remove pressure by frequently changing the patient's position; by rubber rings, and other air cushions and pillows. Never permit a patient to lie on a feather bed if it can by any means be avoided. Cleanse a bad bed sore with peroxide of hydrogen or use as a wash fluid extract of calendula, a teaspoonful to half a pint of water previously boiled. Sterilized gauze may be used as a dressing.
GANGRENE or death of the soft tissues, may be moist or dry, the latter being due to arterial disease where the supply of blood to the part is cut off , the skin shrivels, becomes pale, white, semi translucent, with specks of a bluish mottled hue, then grows opaque, dark, and mummified. Dry gangrene is most often seen in the aged, or in thin, scrawny, emaciated persons, or those having syphilis or scrofula.
With moist gangrene there is always more or less decomposition; the part is engorged with blood from some obstruction to circulation; the skin is dark and livid, the tissues soften and break down. This condition may occur in diseases of the heart or kidneys, during fevers, after injuries or surgical operations, long continued intemperance, privation, etc., also from pressure as in bed sores, extreme cold. The whole system is affected in cases of gangrene, as will be seen from the symptoms mentioned in connection with the remedies.
Arsenicum. When the invasion of the disease is sudden and particularly in dry gangrene in old persons; much burning pain, felt even during sleep, with great and increasing prostration; also in extreme cases with impending collapse, diarrhea and sweating; anxiety; much thirst, but drinks little; pulse small and thready.
Lachesis. Great putridity of the diseased part; bloody, putrid, thin discharge; patient's system saturated, as it were, with the poison; pulse irregular and weak; skin cold; temperature may fall below normal (which is 98.5'); torpor or delirium; gangrenous part black, foul, blistered.
Secale Cor. Painless, dry, chronic gangrene; gangrenous part cold, bluish, and may be blistered; numbness of the limbs; debility and restlessness; particularly useful in tall, scrawny women, without muscular development or who are feeble and bloodless.
A dose of the indicated remedy every three hours. The patient should stay in bed and receive all the concentrated nourishment he can digest, broths, milk, egg nogg, meat juice, coffee and egg, raw eggs, soft boiled or poached eggs, scraped beef, etc. The affected part should be kept at an even temperature; powdered willow charcoal may be used in superficial cases. The services of a good surgeon should be secured. As a wash, use peroxide of hydrogen, or bichloride of mercury I to 5,000. In severe cases moist corrosive sublimate gauze or moist iodoform gauze may be used as a dressing; dressings should never be too moist, or allowed to remain many hours without being changed.
A Bunion often becomes not only large, but also sensitive an painful. Well fitting, easy shoes and stockings not too small are necessary. Surgical interference may be necessary. Compresses wet with calendula may be applied at night, covered with absorbant cotton or oiled silk, and held in place by a light bandage.
Antimonium Crud. Skin hard, horny, smooth, and slightly discolored; pricking sensations in the part, or no feeling at all; often callous spots on the soles of the feet, sensitive on walking; the nails split or grow out of shape.
Apis. Inflamed bunions, which seem to fluctuate under the fingers; biting, stinging sensations; the skin thin and reddened.
Arsenicum. Dark color, generally bluish, with much fluid in the part, and intense burning; better from warm applications.
Silicea. Hard, bony enlargement; sticking pains or much itching; feet smell bad; in growing toe nails; may be offensive foot sweat.
Sulphur. Feet burn but are cold to the touch; patient wants to keep them uncovered; hard or soft inflamed bunions, with crawling sensations; aching, sticking pains in the toes.
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