Page:Guide to health.djvu/141

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129
SOME ACCIDENTS: DROWNING

before breathing is restored. As soon as signs of consciousness appear, some hot drink should be administered. The juice of lime in hot water, or decoction of cloves, pepper, and the bark of the bay-tree, will be found specially effective. The smell of tabacco may also prove useful. People should not be allowed to crowd round the patient, and obstruct the free passage of air.

The signs of death in such cases are the following. The complete cessation of breathing and the beating of heart and lungs, as indicated by a piece of of peacock-feather held near the nose remaining quite steady, or a miror held near the mouth being undimmed by the moisture in the breath; the eyes remaining fixed and half-open, with heavy eye-lids; the jaws getting fixed; the fingers getting crooked; the tongue protruding between the teeth; the mouth getting frothy; nose getting red; the whole body turning pale. If all these signs simultaneously appear, we may conclude that the man is dead. In some rare cases, life may still remain even when all these signs are present. The only conclusive test of death is the setting in of decomposition. Hence the patient should never be given up for lost, until after a long and patient application of remedial measures.