As those who are engaged in mechanical pursuits are peculiarly liable to accidents, we have introduced under the proper heads (Burns, Eye, Fires, Poisons) such brief suggestions as we thought might prove valuable to our readers. For more minute directions in regard to drowning, severe cuts, gunshot wounds, sprains, dislocations, etc., we must refer the reader to some one of the numerous treatises which have been published on this subject . The following general rules will be found useful in all cases:
General Rides. 1. The first thing to be done in all cases is to send for a physician. While the messenger is gone, endeavor to make the patient as comfortable as possible, and save him from all exertion, remembering that he needs all his strength. 2. If there be any severe bleeding, stanch the blood by means of compresses applied to the veins or arteries, as the case may be. 3. If the patient be insensible, place him on the ground or floor, lying rather over to or directly on one side, and with the head slightly raised. Eemove necktie, collar, etc., and unbutton or split open any clothing pressing tightly upon the neck, chest, or abdomen. 4. As a restorative, sprinkle the face with cold water, and then wipe it dry. Some cold water may be given to drink, if the power of swallowing be present, but do not pour stimulants down the throat, unless there be clear evidence that they are needed. 5. Do not move the patient, unless to get him to a place of shelter, and when he has reached it, make him lie down and seek quiet. 6. Allow no useless talking, either to the patient, or in his presence. 7. Cause the bystanders to move back and leave a clear space of at least ten feet in every direction around the patient. One of the best restoratives is fresh air, and a crowd cuts this off completely.
Stimulants should be avoided, except in cases urgently demanding their administration, but they are agents of much value in the treatment of that condition of collapse and faint-ness which very commonly occurs after some physical injuries. The symptoms may be briefly sketched: The face is pale and bedewed with cold or clammy perspiration; the surface of the body generally cold; the pulse nickering, perhaps hardly perceptible; the patient complains of the feeling of faintness, and may have nausea, or even actual sickness; the breathing is sighing and irregular, and for a time there may be actual insensibility. Now under such conditions there can be no question as to the propriety of inducing reaction by the administration of stimulants.
Coffee given hot and strong, and in small quantities, is a safe and useful remedy.
Spirituous liquors are more potent in their effects, and the good effect is produced more speedily. Brandy is the best spirit, given in more or less diluted form; failing this, rum or wine may be given. If the spirits can be obtained only from some low grog shop, then whiskey is to be preferred to brandy or wine, as being less liable to adulteration. In administering these articles the best practical rule is to give a small quantity at first and watch the effect; if the surface becomes warmer, the breathing deeper and more regular, and the pulse at the wrist more perceptible, then there can be no question as to the advantage of giving even a little more; but if these signs of improvement are wanting - if there be increase of insensibility, and deepening of color about the face, with access of heat of skin - withhold alcohol entirely; it will but add to the mischief.