Notes from the Medical Press
Source: The American Journal of Nursing , Oct., 1916, Vol. 17, No. 1 (Oct., 1916), pp.
68-70
Published by: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3405905
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NOTES FROM THE MEDICAL PRESS
IN CHARGE OF
ELISABETH ROBINSON SCOVIL
PAINLESS AND SHOCKLESS CHILDBIRTH.-A writer in the Medical
Record describes his experience in the administration of heroin in
childbirth. He gives z grain, hypodermically. It mitigates the
pain so that the patient can put forth all her efforts to assist nature,
without extreme suffering. It does not destroy the involuntary forces,
nor produce unconsciousness, but enables the mother to do her part
by abolishing the agony that inhibits effort. It produces analgesia
but neither hastens nor retards labor.
EFFECT OF DIET ON THE TEETH.-In an article in the Journal
of the American Medical Association, the importance of a well-balanced
diet in infancy on the development and health of the teeth is empha-
sized. It is stated that orange juice may be begun at any time after
the first month. Vegetables, fruits and meats, properly prepared and
given in small but increasing quantities, may safely be begun as early
as the sixth or seventh month. It is recommended that strips of
tough meat, bacon rinds, bones, bread crusts, etc., be given the child
to chew, to develop the muscles of mastication and enlarge and strength-
en the jaws.
TRANSIENT ANAESTHESIA.-The Lancet mentions a method of ob-
taining analgesia for slight operations such as circumcision, removal
of septic ingrowing toe nails, etc., by means of a small quantity of
ether. A Shummelbusch mask is placed over the patient’s face and
3 drachms of ether poured on it. A folded towel is then closely ap-
plied over mask and face. If the patient breathes deeply and regularly,
in from thirty to fifty seconds analgesia has set in and will last from
fifty seconds to three minutes, the average being slightly less than
two minutes. The patient is usually able to walk from the operating
room and feels no unpleasant after effects.
NEPHRITIC TOXEMIA OF PREGNANCY.-A writer in the New York
Medical Journal says that the gravid uterus pressing on the kidneys
is one of the causes of nephritis in pregnancy. He advises as a pro-
phylactic measure, where the tendency exists, or as contributing to
its relief, the use of a special bed. It consists of a head piece and foot
piece, each with a separate mattress and spring, between these is a
broad band of rubber cloth. This is sufficiently long so it can be hol-
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Notes from the Medical Press
lowed to accommodate the abdomen. The patient lies prone, that is,
face downwards, thus relieving the pressure and permitting a com-
fortable reclining posture.
PoLIOMYELITIS.-There is much discussion of the etiology and
treatment of infantile paralysis. A writer in the Medical Record
states that the secretions from the nose and throat in poliomyelitis
are acid. The blood and spinal fluid are subalkaline. He seeks to
counteract this by administering milk of magnesia. Of 150 children
living in an infected district, but one contracted the disease under
this preventive treatment. The point of entrance of this infection is
said to be in the nose and throat, the virus thence passing to the intestine.
CLEANLINESS.-It is said in Preventive Medicine that long experi-
ence has taught that cleanliness offers a protection against disease,
that clean surroundings are apt to be free from infection and that clean
food is apt to be safe food.
INFANTILE SCURVY.-A writer in the Americal Journal of Dis-
eases of Children is of the opinion that pasteurized milk is an incomplete
food and should be supplemented by an antiscorbutic, such as orange
juice, the juice of orange peel, or potato water. Pasteurized milk is
valuable as a security against infection, but to avoid the dangers of
scurvy the use of orange juice should be begun as early as the end of
the first month of the child’s life.
PNEUMONIA AFTER ETHER.-In a discussion at a meeting of the
American Association of Anesthetists, it was stated that pneumonia
following the administration of ether was sometimes caused by exposure
after the operation. By keeping the recovery room warm and the
patient well covered on the way back to the ward, the number of cases
was very materially lessened.
FOOTPRINTS AS A MEANS OF IDENTIFICATION.-The Journal of
the American Medical Ass6ciation reports that a Chicago maternity
hospital uses the footprint as a means of identifying the babies in its
charge. The baby’s foot should be rubbed with cold cream, then a
sheet of plain white paper pressed against the sole, so that it comes in
contact with the entire surface. After this, powdered charcoal is
spread with a camel’s hair brush over the surface of the paper touched
by the baby’s foot. This brings out the latent impression perfectly.
The same method could be used to determine the degree of flatness in a
person’s foot.
LIQUID PETROLATUM IN CONSTIPATION.-A writer in Paris Medical
recommends refined petrolatum as having a valuable lubricating action
and healing influence on the minute excoriations of the intestines
caused by abnormally hard feces. He gives one or two tablespoon-
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The American Journal of Nursing
fuls after dinner at night, or before breakfast, keeping it up for two or
three weeks and repeating the course as needed. He believes it a
marvelous means of keeping constipation under control, without
drastic measures. It aims at a lasting cure in time.
DIET OF CHILDREN.-In an article on this subject in the Journal
of the American Medical Association it is stated that the minimum
quantity of water taken by a child two years old should be a liter, or
quart, increasing to about three pints for a child of seven. For con-
stipation in young children, two months to a year old, apple pulp,
apple sauce, or prune pulp is advised, one to three tablespoonfuls.
A common mistake during the second year is to contiuue the giving of
large quantities of milk at the expense of a more varied diet, an occa-
sional egg, baked potato, macaroni, dry toast with a little butter, bread,
etc. A small quantity of green vegetables, thoroughly cooked and
strained, is beneficial. Simple deserts, junket, custard, tapioca, etc.,
may be given.
DEATH OF NISSER.-Albert Nisser, the discoverer of the gonococcus,
has died at Berlin. His discovery was made in 1879 and he was one
of the first to insist on the tuberculous nature of lupus. He was par-
ticularly active in studying the prophylaxis of venereal diseases in
general.
ERYSIPELAS AND DIPHTHERIA SERUMS.-The Medical Record
comments upon the treatment of erysipelas by means of ordinary
diphtheria antitoxin. A German experimenter reported that a case
of facial erysipelas, which would not yield to ichthyol applications, was
cured by injections of antitoxin. The face and scalp were involved
and there was a high morning temperature. Three thousand units
were injected, the swelling decreased and disappeared at the end of
twenty-four hours but areas of tenderness remained in the scalp, one
thousand more units were given and in five days the patient was dis-
charged cured.
EXPERIMENTS WITH MAGNESIUM SULPHATE.-An interesting dis-
cussion on this subject at the meeting of the American Association of
Anaesthetists is reported in the Journal of the American Medical Associ-
ation. It is said to depress the entire nervous system and even
produces anaesthesia. Three men operated upon after intravenous
injections of magnesium sulphate felt no pain, one of them did not
believe the operation had been performed. It is hoped no one will under-
take its use until further experiment has shown just how it should be
employed. One doctor stated that the only severe case of tetanus
he ever saw recover was saved by intraspinal injections of magnesium
sulphate. It was also said to be a good remedy to apply to burns of
the first and second degree.
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