A Treatise on the Eclectic Southern Practice of Medicine Page: 37 of 724
This book is part of the collection entitled: Rescuing Texas History, 2010 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries .
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This is an invaluable remedy in many instances;
when properly applied, it has a great tendency to pro-
duce reaction in debilitated patients, who would not be
enabled to endure, probably, the application of cold in
any other mode; in its application, however, I have
generally succeeded best by immersing the sheet in weak
lye, which can be done by adding saleratus to the bath.
This application is strengthening, and if there is hyper-
remia (congestion) in Any one organ, it has a great ten-
dency in relieving the congestion and equalizing the
circulation. In extreme prostration, where the circula-
tion is very feeble, (especially from deficiency of blood,)
it then requires great care in its application. " When
properly modified to meet the actual state of the patient,
it may be said to be the most soothing application that
can be administered to the external sentient surface."
It may in truth be compared in its calming effects to a
soothing poultice placed over some portion of the body;
but its great remedial power is in the fact, that it carries
off feverish heat, which heat is employed in converting
the moisture in the sheet to vapor, which is produced
by the heat of the body acting on the moisture of the
sheet, forming a steam bath of its own making. As a
general rule, if the wet sheet should be applied for the
purpose of reducing irritation, it should not be allowed
to remain on long enough to induce sweating. It is
perfectly applicable where there is morbid irritation; a
valuable remedy in internal and external inflammation,
either acute or chronic. In its application, when your
patient is laboring under a high fever, it may be neces-
sary to employ a blanket or two for covering. It can
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Massie, J. Cam. A Treatise on the Eclectic Southern Practice of Medicine, book, 1854; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143817/m1/37/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.