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11 When blood is spat up there is more cause for alarm, although that presents at one time less, at another more of danger. Blood sometimes comes from the gums, sometimes from the mouth, and that at times copiously, yet without cough, without ulceration, without any disease of the gums, so that there is no expectoration. But just as there is on occasion bleeding from the nostrils, so also does it[p. 393] burst out from the mouth. And sometimes it is blood which flows, sometimes something resembling water in which fresh meat has been washed. On the other hand, blood may come from the uppermost part of the throat, at one time when there is ulceration in that part, at another without ulceration, but either the mouth of some blood-vessel has opened, or the blood breaks out of certain tubercles which have originated there. When this happens, neither food nor drink does harm, nor is there any expectoration as from an ulcer. When, however, the throat and air tubes are ulcerated, the frequent cough also forces out blood; at times it is even brought up out of the lung or out of the chest or out of the sides or out of the liver. Often women, in whom the blood is not being given out through the menses, expectorate blood. According to medical authorities blood gains exit either from some part eroded, or ruptured, or from the opened mouth of some blood-vessel; the first they call diabrosis, the second rhexis, the third anastomosis. The last is the least harmful, the first, the worst. And often indeed it happens that pus follows the blood. Now at times to stop the bleeding suffices to promote recovery; but if there follow ulcerations, or pus, or a cough, according to the situation there arise various and dangerous classes of diseases. But if only blood flows out, both the remedy and the ending are the quicker. Nor ought we to ignore that in those who are in the habit of bleeding or in whom the back or hips ache whether after hard running or walking, a limited flow of blood is not disadvantageous as long as fever is absent, and when blood is passed by the[p. 395] urine it even relieves this very lassitude; nor indeed, in the case of a fall from a height, is there anything alarming if blood comes with the urine, so long as there is nothing else unusual in the urine; nor does vomiting of blood bring about danger, even when repeated, if before it recurs the body is allowed to regain strength and fill up; and it does no harm at all in a robust man, if not excessive, and when it excites neither cough nor fever. The foregoing are general remarks: now I come to the particular points mentioned above. If blood escapes from the gums, it suffices to chew purslane; if from the mouth, undiluted wine should be held in it; if this does no good, then vinegar. If in spite of these remedies there is a severe outburst, since this may be the death of the patient, its attack is best diverted by applying a cup to the occipital region, after first incising the skin; when this happens in a woman whose menses are not forthcoming, a cup is applied to each groin, likewise after making incisions. But if the bleeding comes from the throat, or from more internal parts, there is more to fear, and a more active treatment is to be adopted. Blood should be let, and if the flow from the mouth is not lessened, the venesection should be repeated a second or a third time, and every day a little. From the first also the patient should sip either vinegar or plantain or leek juice with frankincense, and outside over the seat of pain there is to be applied unscoured wool soaked in vinegar, cooled at intervals by means of a sponge. Erasistratus used also to bind up the legs and thighs and the forearms of such patients in several places. This constricting Asclepiades declared far from being beneficial, to be even harmful. But that it often[p. 397] answers well experience bears witness. Yet there is no necessity to bind the patient in many places; it is enough to do it below the groins and above the ankles and at the upper part of the arms, also the forearms. Further, if fever is troublesome, gruel must be given, and for drink water in which has been boiled any one of the intestinal astringents. But if fever is absent, there may be given: either washed spelt or bread soaked in cold water and also soft eggs, and for drink either that mentioned above, or sweet wine or cold water; but drink must be given with the knowledge that in this disease thirst is an advantage. Besides these, there are needed rest, freedom from care, and silence. The head also of the patient whilst in bed should be kept raised, and well shaved; the face is often to be bathed with cold water. On the other hand, there is danger in wine, the bath, coition, oil in the food, all acrid food; the same applies to hot foments, a hot close room, much bedclothes piled on the patient. Rubbings also are useful after the bleeding has quite stopped. Then indeed a beginning can be made on the arms and legs, avoiding the chest. A patient in this case should live through the winter by the sea, during the summer inland.
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