Pneumonia takes a terrible toll of valuable lives every years. The average death rate in this disease in both appalling and unnecessary. There is really no excuse for a mortality of more than one per cent.
Rest in bed is essential in any acute disease and for several reasons:.
It conserves energy, protects against taking additional cold, lessens the danger of complications and equalizes the circulation, thus relieving stress and strain on the affected parts of the body.
Suitable light weight covering is most essential. Heavy, impervious covering is unhealthful for anyone, sick or well and is very fatiguing.
The room should be kept at a fairly even temperature and one agreeable to the patient. Some will want about the same temperature as in health. Some may require a warmer room than that to which they are accustomed, others a cooler temperature. Any marked preference for a very warm or a very cool room is of considerable moment in selecting the indicated remedy.
Arsenicum, Calcarea, Hepar, Phosphorus, Rhus tox. and Silica are cold remedies and crave warmth.
Bryonia, Iodine and Pulsatilla are warm remedies and usually prefer a cool room and plenty of fresh air.
Silica (related symptomatically to Pulsatilla) is cold and yet is often aggravated by becoming even a trifle over heated.
Fresh air and adequate ventilation of the sick room is agreeable to most patients. Air-conditioning is worthy of serious thought in relation to sick room care and practise but it should admit of suitable flexibility both as to temperature and humidity control. The Bryonia and the Hepar patient must have fairly moist air in order to breath with comfort. Rumex must breath in the warm air. Natrum sulph. cases are better in a dry atmosphere.
Let nature speak to you. That which aggravates and irritates is generally harmful, that which ameliorates and soothes is often beneficial. Especially is this true in dealing with acute diseases and with children. In dealing with chronic patients the voice of nature is often stifled through years of suppression, perversion and prejudice.
No hard and fast rule can be laid down in respect to visitors. They can be either a blessing or a curse in the sick room. It depends upon the patient, the remedy indicated and upon the visitor. Patients requiring Chamomilla. Gelsemium, Natrum mur. or Nux vomica may easily be made worse by the presence of visitors. Arsenicum, Kali carb., Lycopodium or Phosphorus will likely be benefited thereby. Always adapt your treatment, orders and advice to the needs of the individual sick patient.
A high fever should never be controlled by drugs. The indicated homoeopathic remedy will take care of the fever, relieve insomnia, ease the cough, quiet the nerves and cure the patient. All other drug medication is absolutely superfluous and usually detrimental. Most pneumonia patients are either drugged to death, fed to death or both.
Why do we so often fever associated with acute disease? It merely means increased combustion, the burning up of accumulated debris. What folly to smother the fire-unless it gets out of bounds; and folly also to stroke the overheated furnace, thereby adding needless fuel to the flames.
A raging fever can be easily controlled by tepid or warm sponge baths, by giving the patient all the water the wants, acidulated, if desired, with lemon or lime juice and by the use of enemata in case of constipation.
It is rarely necessary, in acute disease, either to force or restrict the intake of liquids. Antimonium tart. Apis, Gelsemium and Pulsatilla are thirstless as a rule. Arsenicum, Calcarea, Mercurius and Phosphorus often have extreme thirst. Arsenicum may want frequent sips of cold water but the Arsenic patient often desires hot drinks and is better from heat in general, both internally and externally. Bryonia has thirst for large quantities of water at infrequent intervals. Phosphorus wants ice-cold drinks and to chew cracked ice.