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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/2050

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1844
HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

will live or die, when suddenly the sickness lessens, the body begins to get warm, the face flushes, and restlessness subsides. The patient may go through this reactionary stage to perfect recovery, or he may relapse into his former state of diarrhœa and vomiting, ultimately dying from heart failure and collapse. Thus, in an ordinary mild case of cholera, a man will pass through three stages, probably, in about 48 hours. Firstly, that of premonitory diarrhœa; secondly, that of collapse; and thirdly, that of reaction.

Treatment.—He who would avoid cholera during a cholera season ought to live by rule and method. First, see that the sanitary arrangements are in good order, and that every precaution is taken in cleansing and disinfecting the offices. Calvert's carbolic acid powder, Sanitas, or Jeyes' fluid, answer very well for this purpose. See that the house is clean, sweet and airy, and that no decaying matters remain upon the premises. Be sure that the water supply is pure; if there is any doubt about the matter, it is safer to drink only water that has been boiled and filtered. Have all cisterns emptied and thoroughly cleaned out, and see that the coverings fit accurately. Let no stale meat or vegetables, no sausages, game, or substances likely to create digestive disturbances be used; avoid unripe fruit, prolonged abstinence from food and excessive fatigue. Avoid strong aperient medicines of every kind.

Diarrhoea in Cholera time should not be neglected.—The astringents used should not be powerful; chalk mixture, sulphuric acid, or lemonade, with a little opium added, are best. Try to keep up the bodily heat in every way that does not disturb or fatigue. If the diarrhœa develops into cholera and the patient is consumed with thirst, there is no reason for refusing him drink if it is of a wholesome kind. Should reaction occur, he must be kept quiet. If his head troubles him, and his face is flushed, apply ice or cold water. If there is much sickness let him have a little ice-water to drink. If his lungs become gorged, warm poultices or turpentine stupes will be best. But the kidneys are the chief anxiety. If they do not act, warmth must be tried, perhaps as a warm bath, but this requires caution. If they are acting well and the patient requires a stimulant, let him have some sal-volatile. The food to be given is of especial importance; broths, soups and jellies may be given, but certainly not meat. Small quantities must be given at a time, and repeated as frequently as necessary.

Erysipelas.—Erysipelas of the face is an infectious disease of somewhat frequent occurrence. It is rarely seen in children, but it attacks adults of both sexes. It comes on without apparent cause in many cases, but a blow or exposure to a cold and cutting wind may be predisposing causes of the inflammation. The inflammation itself is produced by a micro-organism growing in the skin. While only mildly infectious in ordinary cases, erysipelas is very likely to infect persons suffering from unhealed wounds of any kind. Hence great care should be taken to avoid exposing such persons to the risk of infection,