Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/2079

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1871
ACCIDENT AND SUDDEN ILLNESS

to the injured joint, and keep the limb in proper position by means of slings and bandages.

Drowning.Treatment.—Loosen the clothing about the neck and chest, the braces or stays. Place the patient on the floor or ground if possible on a slope with the head lower than the heels, in order to allow the water to run out of the air-passages, with the face downward and one of the arms under the forehead. If there be only slight breathing, or no breathing, or if the breathing presently fail, then turn the patient instantly on the side, supporting the head, and ex- cite the nostrils with snuff, hartshorn and smelling salts, or tickle the throat with a feather. Rub the chest and face till warm, and dash cold water or cold and hot water alternately on them. If there be no success, imitate the motions of natural breathing. To do this place the patient on his back, supporting the head and shoulders on a small firm cushion or folded article of dress; draw the tongue forward, and slip an elastic band over it and under the chin, or tie a piece of string or tape in the same way; then, kneeling behind the patient's head, grasp the fore-arms just below the elbows, and draw them gently and steadily upwards above the head, and keep them stretched upwards for 2 seconds; then turn them down and force them gently and firmly for 2 seconds against the sides of the chest. Repeat these measures about 15 times in a minute. When breathing is restored, rub the limbs upwards with firm grasping pressure and energy, to drive the blood along the veins to the heart, using handkerchiefs, flannels, etc. Apply hot flannels, hot bottles, bladders of hot water, or heated bricks to the pit of the stomach, the armpits, between the thighs and to the soles of the feet, or, if these are not available, cover the limbs when dried and rubbed warm, with coats, waistcoats, or any articles of clothing to hand. On the restoration of vitality a teaspoonful of warm water should be given, and then small quantities of warm coffee.

Epilepsy.Treatment.—At the onset of a fit the patient should be caught in the arms of a bystander and laid gently down upon his back, with something placed under his head for a pillow, and everything tight should be removed from his neck. Insert a cork between the teeth to prevent the tongue being bitten, then wait patiently till the fit is over.

Fainting.—In this affection there is pallor of the face, coldness, perspiration; feeble, shallow and irregular breathing; noises in the ears; indistinctness of vision and giddiness.

Treatment.—A fainting fit can frequently be prevented if the patient is told to sit in a chair and his head is then gently pressed down on a level with his knees. Another method is to lay the patient upon the back, remove all constricting articles of clothing from about the neck, and apply strong smelling salts to the nostrils; sprinkle cold water over the face, and give a dose of half a teaspoonful of spirit of sal-volatile in a little water.