IN this disease the muscles of the forearm are palsied so that the wrist "drop," as it is said, and the hands hang down when the arms are stretched out. It is caused by the gradual introduction of lead into the system. It is a disease, therefore, peculiar to painters, particularly those who use carbonate of lead, or white lead, as it is called. It is generally the sequel of painter's colic.
Treatment. A sudden and severe attack of palsy requires the same treatment as apoplexy. When the bowels are obstinately constipated, they must be moved by scammony and croton oil (31), (32) and by injections (246).
When all the symptoms of determination of blood to the head have disappeared, and the disease has become strictly chronic, exciting remedies must be employed, as frictions, stimulating liniments, blisters, stimulating baths, cold affusion, and electricity. Among the internal remedies, strychnine has the best reputation (85), (86). The tincture of the poison oak is well recommended (284). An alterative (145) should likewise be used.
Apply counter irritants along the track of the spine, such as blisters, the moxa, the compound tar plaster, and the pitch plaster.
At first the diet should be light; but after the more active symptoms have disappeared, it should be nutritious, and sometimes stimulating. Flannel underclothes should always be worn next the skin.
For lead palsy, the best remedy is iodide of potassium, three to ten grains, three times a day, dissolved in water, one ounce of the salt to six ounces of water, and taken in simple syrup. The affected limb should also be soaked an hour each day in a gallon of water, with half an ounce of sulphuret of potassium dissolved in it.
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