Fevers and Blood poisoning

8 A.M. T. 97.4 degree.

9.30 ” Medicine.

10 ” Egg, brandy, and milk, 2 oz; bread and butter.

11.30 ” Medicine.

12 ” T. 98.2 degree.

12.15 P.M. Chicken-tea, 4 oz., and sandwich.

1.30 ” Medicine.

2 ” T. 98.2 degree.

Asleep for I/2 hour.

3.15 ” Beef-tea and Murdock, 4 oz.

3.45 ” Medicine.

REMARKS.– The febrifuge and otherwise the curative action of the Pyrogen was soon manifest, and the normal temperature was reached within a week, and then came the subnormal reaction. Whether others will believe that Pyrogen here acted curatively I do not know. I personally am satisfied that the remedy broke up the fever, and humanly speaking, saved the young lady’s life. That is also the opinion of the mother, who has large experience.

But the nurses were experienced in fever also, and they should be able to judge to some extent. In order to know the nurse’s opinions, I wrote to the young lady’s mother for information on the subject, and this is the reply,- “Feb. 2, 1888.

“The Mildmay nurses could not make it out; they felt sure– had typhoid for one reason and then another, and that it must last such a time; then, when Pyrogen did for the course they considered it absolutely necessary for typhoid to take, they were shut up to the correction that after all it was only a good imitation, and not the genuine fever!”

However, let us pass on to some further clinical work done by Pyrogen: one case counts but for very little, it is so easy to be mistaken or be deceived, and experientia fallax is a very hoary saw.

CASE II.-Subsequently a middle-aged gentleman had an attack of fever, but it was complicated with, or arising from an enlarged liver with old peritonitic adhesions and adhesions of Glisson’s capsule. In this case the hepatic and other remedies of a more constitutional action did not seem to act, and so I fell back upon Pyrogen, with the result that the other remedies then acted well, and patient made a quick recovery. Looking now back on this case, I am disposed to think that it was a mild septic fever supervening upon chronic hypertrophy of the liver, and the liver was not able to right itself till the continued fever had been quelled by the Pyrogen. This case I will not dwell upon, as the evidence it affords does not count for much.

CASE III.-This case, K.W. A., occurred subsequently in the same house as Case I., and the patient was at the time about 13 years of age, and he is brother of the subject mentioned in Case I will also not dwell long on K.W.A.’s case, or give any particulars further than to say, that the giving of Pyrogen was followed at once by a distinct drop in the temperature of nearly three degrees, and it did not again go up, but remained at about 99.0 degree for many weeks, when the patient got well, and is now a strong fellow.

For the sake of making the case comprehensible, I will just add that from the course of the case, from the remedies that helped, and from those that did not, I am of opinion that patient had continued fever which started mesenteric mischief, and that the pyrexia 102.6 degree was cured by Pyrogen’ whereas the slight febrile movement that went on for so many weeks- nearly nine-was consequent upon chronic inflammation in the mesenteric glands. There was much obstinate diarrhoea. However, whatever the nature of the case was, the exhibition of Pyrogen was followed by a drop of three degrees in the temperature.

Still I would not attach much importance to this case either.

CASE IV.-William R.A., aet. 19, oddly enough also of the same family as the foregoing, but residing at Kensington. He came home (to Kensington) early from office, complaining of neuralgia, on the afternoon of Wednesday, the 17th February 1886. Did not sleep that night, and so did not get up to breakfast next morning, when his temperature was found to be 100.6 degree.

As he seemed to have a feverish cold, complained of pains in his bones, he was ordered Aconite and Bryonia. Temperature at 5 P.M. 101 degree, when Dr. was sent for, and patient was got up stairs: he had been sleeping in the smoking room adjoining the W.C. since February 2nd. The doctor ordered Actea and Bryonia. Did not sleep much on Thursday night.

Friday.-The doctor saw him in the morning, and changed the medicines to Mercurius viv. 3x trit., as much as would lie on a sixpence, every hours. On Saturday, Aconite was alternated with it every hour. Slept indifferently.

On Sunday, patient was removed to higher ground, viz., close to Cavendish Square. Patient bore the removal well, but profuse perspirations broke our from time to time, great aching in his limbs, headache from time to time all over fore-head, great thirst, breath foul, tongue not much coated but brownish, gets depressed if left alone, and breaks out in perspiration; plain in the stomach at times, bowels rumble a great deal, nose bleeds readily, throat sore and congested, gum ragged where wisdom tooth has lately come through gets a pain if he drinks cold milk, jaws very stiff, so much so that he cannot separate his teeth but a very little.

The physicians in charge was very positive that it was a case of true typhoid, and I may say that the gentleman in question has had special experience of typhoid, and knows it better than many physicians. There was a regular staff of hospital nurses in attendance experienced in fevers, and they were quite sure it was real typhoid.

The young man’s mother having seen the effects of Pyrogen in continued fevers-the cases I have already related-told the physician in charge about it, and wanted him to give Pyrogen, but he refused, saying that it was quite impossible to stop typhoid fever, and that, therefore, this case would have to run its course. But the lady was so sure that she had seen Pyrogen break up fever, that she did not feel it would be right to go on without at least trying it, and the doctor thereupon withdrew from the case. And as I had long been the ordinary medical adviser of the family, and being, moreover, the foster parent of Pyrogen, I was asked to take up the case, which I was sorry to do on the one hand, but rather keen to try my friend Pyrogen again all the same. This was Monday morning February 22, 1886.

At two o’clock on the afternoon of 22nd Pyrogen was begun, five drops of No.6 in water every two hours, and I saw the patient in the afternoon for the first time. The very pose of the patient, his mode of lying in bed, spoke clearly in favour of his complaint being typhoid: he lay on his back in listless indifference as if the his body were not his, and it were sinking almost through the bed. The temperature went down already in a few hours, becoming practically normal in three days, and patient slept for three hours after the sixth dose.

I do attach very great importance to this case, as it was most manifest that the Pyrogen acted curatively even though we had taken no notice of the temperature at all; the patient soon got sleep, picked up, took an interest in his surroundings, wanted food, kidneys and bowels and skin all told that the fever was not being treated merely by it, but jugulated, snuffed out, if I may so say.

No doubt I may be inclined to think too much of it, but my duty is done when I give my evidence and my opinion.

I had to wait some time after this before suitable cases of fever presented themselves for a further and more extended trail of Pyrogen, and I felt somewhat disappointed at not seeing any clinical results obtained by it brought to the notice of the profession either by Dr. Drysdale himself or by other colleagues. So I determined to wait till such were forthcoming, but I waited in vain, nothing came. However, tout vient a celui quisait attendre, and in December 1887 I had the good fortune to be called in to treat two young ladies in London both with continued fever, the temperature in one case being 104 degree to 105 degree, and in the other ranging from 99 degree to 101. degree.

CASES V. and VI.-The young ladies had been under allopathic treatment, and the fever would not lessen. Having them both in adjoining rooms, and both cases being clearly of common origin, whatever that may have been, I gave the worse patient Pyrogen as in the last case, and Baptisia to the less bad one. In three days the patient taking Pyrogen was feverless; and the one on Baptisia? Her temperature had gone on steadily rising, and was 104 degree or thereabouts. Why did you not give them both Pyrogen said the mother? I did not enter into the question, but ordered Pyrogenium then for the other, and down went the temperature as in the previous case.

This is my experience of Pyrogenium, not, indeed, all of it, but the bulk of it.

Now, let those who have more fevers to treat than I have put it to the test, but not in low dilutions, or hypodermically, but in the 6th centesimal by the mouth, as I have done.

But the Pyrogenium should not be diluted or preserved with glycerine, but the matrix fluid should be forthwith run up to the 6th centesimal dilution, as is customary in homoeopathic pharmaceutics. In other respects it must be prepared as directed by Dr. Drysdale in his paper already referred to, and the control experiment on some living creature should be attended to. I will not enlarge upon the subject, but will pass on now to the experience of my friend Dr. Shuldham of Putney. The experience of this scholarly and able colleague is singularly opportune and suggestive; it comes to me in the form of a letter, and I leave it to speak for itself, merely saying that it bears out my own idea of the sphere of usefulness of Pyrogenium in diphtheria, and is in accordance with Dr. Drysdale’s theoretical reasoning and suggestion.

James Compton Burnett
James Compton Burnett was born on July 10, 1840 and died April 2, 1901. Dr. Burnett attended medical school in Vienna, Austria in 1865. Alfred Hawkes converted him to homeopathy in 1872 (in Glasgow). In 1876 he took his MD degree.
Burnett was one of the first to speak about vaccination triggering illness. This was discussed in his book, Vaccinosis, published in 1884. He introduced the remedy Bacillinum. He authored twenty books, including the much loved "Fifty Reason for Being a Homeopath." He was the editor of The Homoeopathic World.