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Part 25

There are others who treat such cases at first with bandages, applying them on both sides of the seat of the injury, but omit them there, and leave the wound uncovered, and afterward they apply to the wound some cleansing medicine, and complete the dressing with compresses dipped in wine and greasy wool. This plan of treatment is bad, and it is clear that those who adopt this mode of practice are guilty of great mistakes in other cases of fracture as well as these. For it is a most important consideration to know in what manner the head of the bandage should be placed and at what part the greatest pressure should be, and what benefits would result from applying the end of the bandage and the pressure at the proper place, and what mischiefs would result from applying the head of the bandage and the pressure otherwise than at the proper place. Wherefore it has been stated in the preceding part of the work what are the results of either; and the practice of medicine bears witness to the truth of it, for in a person thus bandaged, a swelling must necessarily arise on the wound. For, if even a sound piece of skin were bandaged on either side, and a part were left in the middle, the part thus left unbandaged would become most swelled, and would assume a bad color; how then could it be that a wound would not suffer in like manner? The wound then must necessarily become discolored and its lips everted, the discharge will be ichorous and without pus, and the bones, which should not have got into a state of necrosis, exfoliate; and the wound gets into a throbbing and inflamed condition. And they[p. 193] are obliged to apply a cataplasm on account of the swelling, but this is an unsuitable application to parts which are bandaged on both sides, for a useless load is added to the throbbing which formerly existed in it. At last they loose the bandages when matters get very serious, and conduct the rest of the treatment without bandaging; and notwithstanding, if they meet with another case of the same description, they treat it in the same manner, for they do not think that the application of the bandages on both sides, and the exposure of the wound are the cause of what happened, but some other untoward circumstance. Wherefore I would not have written so much on this subject, if I had not well known that this mode of bandaging is unsuitable, and yet that many conduct the treatment in this way, whose mistake it is of vital importance to correct, while what is here said is a proof, that what was formerly written as to the circumstances under which bandages should be tightly applied to fractures or otherwise has been correctly written.

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