This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
7 Among fevers the case of pestilence demands special consideration. In this it is practically useless to prescribe fasting or medicine or clysters. If strength permits of it, blood-letting is best, and especially if there is fever with pain: but if that is hardly safe, after the fever has either declined or remitted, the chest is cleared by an emetic. But in such cases the patient requires to be taken to the bath earlier than in other affections, to be given hot and undiluted wine, and all food glutinous, including that sort of meat. For the more quickly such violent disorders seize hold, the earlier are remedies to be taken in hand, even with some temerity. But if a child is the sufferer, and not robust enough for lo-letting to be possible, thirst is to be used in his case, the bowels are to be moved by a clyster whether of water or of pearl-barley gruel; then and not before he is to be sustained by light food. Indeed in general children ought not to be treated like adults. Therefore, as in any other sort of disease, we must set to work with more caution in these cases; not let blood readily, not readily clyster, not torment by wakefulness and by hunger or excess of thirst, nor is a wine treatment very suitable. After the remission of the fever a vomit is to be elicited, then[p. 265] food of the lightest nature is given, after which let the child sleep; next day, if the fever persists, let the child be kept without food, and on the third day return to food as above. Our aim should be, as far as possible to sustain the child, by food when suitable, with abstinence in between when suitable, omitting all else. But if an ardent fever is parching up the patient, no medicinal draught is to be given, but during the paroxysms he is to be cooled by oil and water, mixed by the hand until they turn white. He should be kept in a room where he can inhale plenty of pure air; he is not to be stifled by a quantity of bed-clothes, but merely covered by light ones. Vine leaves also which have been dipped in cold water can be laid over the stomach. He is not even to be distressed by too much thirst; he should get food fairly soon, namely from the third day, and after being anointed beforehand. If phlegm collects in the stomach, when the paroxysm has already declined he is to be made to vomit; then to be given cold salads, or orchard fruit agreeable to the stomach. If the stomach remains dry, there should be given to begin with either pearl barley or spelt or rice gruel with which fresh lard has been boiled. Whilst the fever is at its height, certainly not before the fourth day, and if there is already great thirst, cold water is to be administered copiously so that the patient may drink even beyond satiety. As soon as the stomach and chest have become replete beyond measure and sufficiently cooled, he should vomit. Some do not even insist on the vomit, but use the cold water by itself, given up to satiety, as the medicament. When either of the above has been done, the patient is to[p. 267] be well wrapped up and put to bed so that he may sleep; and generally, after prolonged thirst and wakefulness, after full sating with water, after making a break in the heat, there comes abundant sleep: which brings on a profuse sweat, and this is an immediate relief, but only to those who have no pains accompanying the ardent fever, no swelling of the parts below the ribs, nothing prohibitory either in the chest or in the lung or in the throat, no ulcerations, no diarrhoea, no flux from the bowel. But if in fever of this sort the patient coughs readily, he is not to be distressed by severe thirst, nor ought he to drink water cold, but he is to be treated in the way prescribed for other fevers.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.