Should a warm bath be procurable, the body may be placed in it up to the neck, continuing to imitate the movements of breathing. Raise the body in twenty seconds in a sitting position, and dash cold water against the chest and face, and pass ammonia under the nose. The patient should not be kept in a warm bath longer than five or six minutes.
To excite inspiration- During the employment of the above method, excite the nostrils with snuff or smelling-salts, or tickle the throat with a feather. Rub the chest and face briskly, and dash cold and hot water alternately on them.
The efforts to restore life must be persevered in until the pulse and breathing have ceased for at least an hour, for well- attested instances of resuscitation are on record, after several hours of suspended animation.
Another method of effecting artificial respiration is by catheterism of the trachea. “The operator inflates from his own chest; but as he is able to drive in much more air than is absolutely necessary, its impurity is of no great consequence. An assistant must empty the patient’s lungs by compression of the thorax between the insufflations.”
TREATMENT AFTER THE RESTORATION OF NATURAL BREATHING.
Rule 5.-To induce Circulation and Warmth- Wrap the patient in dry blankets and commence rubbing the limbs upwards, firmly and energetically. The friction must be continued under the blankets or over the dry clothing.
Promote the warmth of the body by the application of hot flannels, bottles or bladders of hot water, heated bricks, etc., to the pit of the stomach, the armpits, between the thighs, and to the soles of the feet. Warm clothing may generally be obtained from bystanders.
On the restoration of life, when the power of swallowing has returned, a teaspoonful of warm water, small quantities of warm wine, warm brandy-and-water, or coffee, should be given. In some cases, an enema of beef-tea and brandy is to be preferred to administration by the mouth. The patient should be put into a warm bed, in a room well ventilated, and encouraged to sleep. Great care is requisite to maintain the restored vital actions, and at the same time to prevent undue excitement.
In cases of Suffocation from Hanging, the treatment is much the same, after the body has been cut down, and the ligature removed from the neck.
When a Stroke of Lightning has produced Asphyxia, the body should be dashed for ten or fifteen minutes with abundance of cold water to promote reaction. The body should also be diligently rubbed. But artificial respiration should be resorted to. A current of electricity passed through the chest, from breast to back, may prove beneficial.
237. Concussion of the Brain.
DEFINITION- An interruption to the functions of the brain, from a blow or other mechanical injury of the head; it may vary in degree from a slight —— extinction of life.
SYMPTOMS- Partial or complete insensibility—— face; rapid, irregular, small or imperceptible—–slow, shallow, irregular breathing; cold —– etc. By shaking the patient, or calling his name loudly in his ears (which, however, should never be done), he may give a surely answer, and soon become insensible again. After a time, longer or shorter according to the severity of the injury, reaction comes on, and consciousness returns, with rise of temperature (101 degree to 102 degree F.), and some irritability; often there is vomiting. At first the reaction may be imperfect; it is often several days or even weeks before the power of the mind is restored.
TREATMENT- Arnica. Place two pilules upon the tongue, or moisten it with a few drops of the tincture by means of a feather or quill, and repeat the dose every hour for several times.