Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1513

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greatest care they are difficult to keep out of the bed. Tuck a tablenapkin carefully round the patient's shoulders before each time of feeding.

If a feeding cup is used, scald it carefully and keep it quite clean. Warm it before using it for any hot food. Keep one for milk, and lay that in water. Have a separate cup for beef tea or broth.

No cooking may be done in the sick-room.

In Acute Disease, the diet is often limited to milk and beef tea. Inexperienced persons imagine that every liquid food is insufficient nourishment, and that the patient should be persuaded to take some solid. So far from this being true, milk is the best of all foods, the only food we could live on for a length of time without admixture of anything else. A patient who can take milk has at once a greater chance of prolonging life or recovering health.

But there are some persons who cannot take milk, in health or sickness. They will often find it agrees with them better mixed with limewater, a third or half of water to two-thirds or half of milk. Sodawater and milk is agreeable to some patients, and to some boiled milk is more digestible, especially boiled milk hot. Only in rare cases should the cream be removed. Whey has been found useful when every preparaton of fresh milk has been tried in vain. Koumiss or fermented milk is also sold in considerable quantities for the use of invalids.

Sickness and Nausea.—If the patient suffers from sickness and nausea, every food should be given iced, or as cold as possible, and in the smallest quantities, and it is a good plan to slip a tiny piece of ice into the patient's mouth immediately after taking food. Milk may be kept on ice for a long time, or, if no ice is at hand, set the jug in a tub of salt and water, or wrap a wet cloth round the jug and stand it in a draught outside the door. The slightest souring is enough to make milk disagree with a patient.

Cooking Apparatus.—In keeping anything hot in the sick-room a specially-constructed cooking apparatus is very useful. It is a box thickly padded with non-conducting material, and containing a double tin receptacle, the outer for hot water, and the inner for beef tea, or whatever has to be cooked or kept hot. The tin is filled with hot water, and retains the heat for many hours without evaporation, or giving out any smell.

Beef Tea.—Formerly, beef tea was regarded as the patient's greatest support, but now many doctors have ceased to attach much importance to it, largely owing to the difficulty of getting it properly prepared. This difficulty ought not to exist, for it is quite easy to make if the few simple rules set forth in the following recipes are strictly adhered to.

There is a wide difference in beef tea for invalids and that intended for convalescents, the former being necessarily prepared from juicy meat and at a low temperature, so as to first draw out the juices of the