Medicine is full of the ephemeral and of errors of human judgement, hence you must accept the conclusions of this paper, as those of one person only. The specter of membranous croup looms up hideously in the experience of every physician, and strikes dire fear into the heart of every conscientious practitioner, be he a follower of Hahnemann or a disciple of Pasteur; for in truth, the difference between the results of ordinary homeopathic treatment, when Kali bi-ch; Hepar’-s or Spongia are given as a routine, and the old school antitoxin injection method, is not startling enough to attract attention. Intubation has done good work, but does not come up to expectations. When Hering gave Lachesis to the world, he builded better than he knew; above all other remedies, it admits of no crude dosage; its efficacy in the highest potencies is beyond cavil, it does things that no other medicine or combination is capable of; its pathogenesis rivals that of Pulsatilla in completeness, which is saying much. A well proven remedy is worth hundreds of fragments.
Twelve successive successful cases treated with Lachesis encourage me to point out its usefulness to you. Three of these cases expectorated putrescent fragments of membrane, some quite large, and had profound prostration; a number had enlarged glands at the angle of the jaw, three had previous treatment, which is usually efficacious in the catarrhal form, one had had the Boenninghausen powders, which the family kept in the home for the emergencies, all had the peculiar wheeze, which distinguishes the membranous form of croup; nearly all the cases were entering upon the second stage, when suffocation awakes the patient, every time he falls asleep.
Two cases lasted a full week, before they were out of danger, one of these retains a permanent hoarseness, due to injury to the vocal cords; one case was under four months of age; this one was very obstinate and had had previous allopathic treatment usual in such cases.
The method of administering the remedy had I think very much to do with its efficacy. As soon as fully satisfied as to the nature of the case, I usually give a dose of 200th every hour or half hour; ordinarily this quickly loosens the exudate in a few hours, large quantities are coughed or vomited up, indeed the amount expectorated is frequently a great surprise to the family; now the remedy is repeated, at longer intervals until all symptoms have fully subsided; any laxness at this juncture will probably lose the case; it is not an uncommon thing to find that after twentyfour hours of amelioration an aggravation sets in. Now is the time to change the potency, usually I give the 4m of Jenichen repeating as before, or even every fifteen minutes; it rarely happens that a third change is necessary but if so, the 50m or c.m. usually finish the case, once the m.m. was necessary.
It is my firm belief, that this procedure will be sufficient for the vast majority of cases. Where this remedy has failed in previous times, it has been because the manner of giving it has not been carried out. In closing I would point out the cardinal points of this treatment.
1. Give Lachesis as soon as the wheeze and suffocation on falling asleep appear.
2. Repeat frequently until there is a rattle, with every cough, then lengthen the interval between the doses.
3. Do not fail to change the potency when a fresh aggravation sets in.
I. Shaking chill, starts at base of neck and goes down, every day at 8 or 9 a.m., or at 12 noon; drawing in abdomen during chill. Concomitants. Cramp in bowels. Dry mouth. Pain in left inframammary region. Pains which shift rapidly. Weak sensation in wrists. Constriction in right side of head, and in right knee. Head heavy. General weakness. Valerian 1m. cured.
II. Acidity, solids hurt the stomach, causing a feeling as if some-thing had lodged in liver, together with vertigo. Burning in stomach. Flatulency. Loss of appetite. Nausea. Impatient and despondent. Mouth and throat dry. Thirstless. Cutting and heaviness in right hypochondrium. Takes cold with every change of weather. Creeping feeling in back. Cold feet. Can’t lie on either side. Nux. mos. 50m., cured.
III. Boy aged 14, has had nocturnal enuresis since his third year, when he suffered from whooping cough and dysentery. Urine is very strong in odour. Always feels tired. Incontinence of stool, on urging can’t retain it. Aloes 45m. cured.
IV. Child aged 4, had nocturnal enuresis with prolapsus recti, the prolapsus was complete and so bad, that it could hardly be held in place by any means whatsoever; every motion, stool or passage of urine brought on the condition. This case had a bad out-look. Aloes 45m. cured.