Generalities: This medicine is especially suitable in the low zymotic forms of sickness, such as we find in diphtheria and scarlet fever, in blood poisoning and in symptomatic typhoids, especially those cases that are characterized by capillary congestion in spots, red mottled spots.
Scarlet: Perhaps the most striking manifestation of such a low type of sickness is malignant scarlet fever. The regular rash does not come out, but in its place red spots, roseola-like, make their appearance; the usual uniform spread of the eruption has failed, or has been suppressed, and there is bleeding from the gums and nose, and dreadful tumefaction in the throat.
The countenance is purple and besotted, the eyes are congested and there is even bleeding from the eyes. There is an appearance of great prostration, but it is really stupefaction; he seems stupid and benumbed.
If you look at the throat you see it is covered with little purple patches, intermingled with an oedematous appearance similar to that found in Baptisia. It is a low depressed type of sickness.
De composition of the blood is going on rapidly. The blood that oozes is black. The child is going into a state of stupor and it is with difficulty that he can be aroused. Sometimes blisters are formed on the ends of fingers, or here and there over the body. From the mouth and nose come foetid odors. The child is going as rapidly as possible into a form of malignant disease.
Sometimes the disease comes on as a light febrile attack, but from taking cold and suppressing some of the natural manifestations the case takes on a low typhoid form and whereas you had at first only a simple remittent, the case has now assumed a state of prostration with a very rapid heart, foetor, purpleness or blueness, a passive congestion with purple blotches of the skin, causing a mottled appearance.
When a disease turns so suddenly blood poisoning is going on and a symptomatic typhoid state appears. A remittent that turns into a sharp zymotic state in the course of twenty-four hours, a diphtheria that takes on this form with stupidity and mottled skin are examples of such a type of sickness.
Mind: The mental symptoms accompanying this state are interesting. I read from some nows I have made. A continued dreamy state of mind though awake. Child cries all the time. Sees little animals like rats running around.
Feels a rat or something small crawling up the limb and over the body. There seems to be constant loss of memory, even the things spoken of a moment ago go right out of the mind. Constant forgetfulness. All past events are forgotten. Past events are forgotten or remembered as belonging to someone else, or as matters read.
That is in keeping with the dreamy state, it seems as though those things that are past appear as in a dream, as if he had dreamed them. Cannot concentrate the mind in any mental effort; cannot answer questions correctly; is as if in a semi-conscious state, and finally he goes into complete unconsciousness.
There is in the earlier stages of this zymotic state great anxiety and restlessness, later there is stupor and indifference to everything. Continual sighing with depression of spirits; extremely irritable, semi-conscious, finally unconsciousness, stupor, delirium and insensibility; muttering delirium with sleeplessness and restlessness.
This mental state is such as occurs in zymotic sickness; the chronic illness has not been well brought out. Dr. Wells used this remedy in a number of cases, as it was at that time an epidemic remedy for scarlet fever, in Brooklyn, and many patients were saved by it. It seemed to be able to change the character of the malignant forms of scarlet fever into a mild type.
Face: In addition to the symptoms of the text it has been observed that the hair falls out and flashes of light play before the eyes on closing the lids at night.
“Pupils widely dilated; copious, thin, ichorous and bloody, discharge from the nose.”
That is in the zymotic states in scarlet fever.
“Nostrils congested. Great prostration and a countenance indicating much distress. Face dark as mahogany.”
That is in suppressed scarlet fever. Purple, bloated and puffed, besotted face. This remedy is one not very much used, and it is not very often indicated, but it is very useful when indicated. You will not very often see this particular type even in malignant scarlet fever. You will often see such a scarlet fever running to a number of other remedies, but this remedy corresponds to one of the most malignant types, and its commonest use will be in an epidemic in which the cases largely run to the malignant type.