In Pericarditis, Dr. Hope speaks highly of relays of blisters over the region of the heart; and Dr. Watson§ observes, that when the pericardium is distended by effusion, he has seen the application of a large blister over the prAecordial region followed by complete disappearance of the liquid. Its effects are often rapid and striking.
Stokes|| found the application of a blister very effectual in relieving the palpitations and prAecordial distress. It is, of course, only a palliative measure.
2965. In Pleuritis and Pleuritic Affections, blisters in succession to the chest are often very effectual in causing the absorption of the effused fluids, and removing the disease. They are inadmissible during the acute inflammatory stage.
Sensible relief of the cough and of the oppressed breathing often follows the rising of a large blister, laid across the front of the chest. (Watson.¶) In Chronic Bronchitis, or in that occurring in debilitated and old subjects, or when bleeding is inadmissible, a blister may also be applied with advantage. Obstinate Catarrhs are often relieved by their use.
* Cyc. Pract. Med., vol. ii. p. 471. Lib. of Med., vol. ii p. 59. Diseases of the Heart, 3rd Ed.
§ Lectures, vol. ii. p. 301. || Cyc. Pract. Med., vol. ii. ¶ Op. cit., vol. ii. p. 34.
2967. In Pneumonia, when the acute stage is past, when the fever is no longer high, and the skin no longer burning, but the expectoration is still difficult, the dyspnoea considerable, and a sensation of pain or tightness or oppression is experienced in the chest, a large blister over the chest is often productive of very sensible relief; but it should be a large one. (Watson.*) In the acute stage, they are more productive of injury than good.
2968. In Phthisis, counter-irritation by small blisters proves often of the highest service in allaying the cough, dyspnoea, and general oppression of the chest. In some cases, Tartar Emetic ointment or Croton Oil liniment is preferable.
C. B. Williams observes that, in the second stage, blisters to the upper part of the chest are very useful. An extemporaneous blister by Liq. Ammonia} or Acetum Cantharidis should be preferred, on account of the rapidity of their action. In the early stage, blisters are of little use, and create much irritation. Dr. Porter expresses himself strongly against their employment in the early stage, particularly if applied near the seat of disease. In Chronic Laryngitis, blisters to the upper part of the chest are useful, though perhaps less so than setons or issues.
2970. In Hydropericardium, and in Hydrothorax, the application of relays of blisters to the chest (in the former case over the margin of the left false ribs) is sometimes serviceable as an adjunct to other treatment, in promoting the absorption of the effused fluid. The blistered surface should be kept discharging for several weeks.