Treating Puerperal Fever With Water (Aqua)

In a very striking case reported by Dr. W. S. Play-fair, a sheet or towels wrung from iced water were almost constantly applied for eleven days, the patient lying on a water-bed kept cold with running water, and having an ice-cap on the head. By these means only could the temperature be kept under 105°. Eventually the patient was saved, Warburg's tincture having some share in the result (British Medical Journal, ii., 1877). Dr. Wiltshire has also reported cases of this disease treated by dry cold, i.e., ice packed in bottles and tins near the patient, with temporary good result under unfavorable conditions. Mr. Knowsley Thornton has found an ice-cap, for application to the head only, very useful in keeping down the temperature for ovariotomy.

Treating Puerperal Fever With Mercury (Hydrargyrum, Quicksilver)

Traube has also revived mercurial treatment in some cases of this disease - not for the general blood-poisoning - but at the commencement, when phlegmonous inflammation is spreading from the uterus, and involving other parts, e.g., the peritoneum or pleura. He considers that a rapid and energetic mercurializing by calomel and inunction gives the best results, and states that such cases bear large doses, and that improvement generally coincides with the first signs of salivation. Spiegelberg especially observed the good influence of corrosive sublimate in similar conditions - he gave 1/6 gr. at a time (Nothnagel). Concerning this treatment, I can only say that I have not had occasion to adopt it, aconite, opium, quinine, etc., seeming to be much more desirable remedies.