Brandis. of Copenhagen, successfully treated ten cases by the application of cloths, dipped in iced water, to the abdomen, at the same time that he gave iced water as a drink. Laxative and anti-spasmodic medicines were also administered by mouth, and in the form of enema.
3165. In the Hiccough which occurs early in the progress of Typhus and other Fevers, Dr. Graves advises iced water in small quantities, leeches to the epigastrium, and bland aperient injections. In the hiccough of the later stages, swallowing a small piece of ice is sometimes effectual; but unless it speedily affords relief, it should not be persevered in.
3166. Inhalation, in its therapeutic sense, is the act of drawing air impregnated with medicinal substances, into the air-passages. From the earliest times the inhalation of vapours has been a recognised means of medication. In the treatment of Bronchitis, Asthma, and other Pulmonary Affections, the inhalation of watery vapour, impregnated with Stramonium, Hyoscyamus, Camphor, and substances of the same class, has been found a useful means of allaying spasm and irritability of the bronchial tubes. Recently the inhalation of pulverized fluids, i. e. solutions of various medicinal substances broken into a fine spray, has been introduced. This method was first employed in 1857 by Sales Girons, who found it beneficial in Pharyngitis, Laryngitis, Bronchitis, and Tuberculosis. Since then it has been frequently tried on the Continent. Dr. Smyly,§ of the Meath Hospital, states that fluid impregnated with substances not otherwise volatile, can be broken into such fine spray that the solution may be inhaled without inconvenience, and that the medicinal agent may thus be brought in direct contact with the bronchial tubes, even as far as their small ramifications. The instrument used by Dr. Smyly is made by M. Krohne after M. Lewin's. "It consists of a glass chamber, covered with an air-tight brass cap. In this cap a glass tube is fixed, almost touching the bottom of the glass vessel. The end outside the brass cap, is drawn out to a capillary opening, and bent at an angle. Into another part of the cap an air-pump is screwed, to press air into the chamber, thus forcing any fluid introduced into the chamber through the capillary opening with very great force. A glass cylinder, open at both ends, and having a small round hole in the side, is fixed by means of a metal rod at a short distance, so that the stream from the capillary opening may enter the hole in the side. Opposite this hole a metal button is fixed, on which the stream strikes, and is broken into a fine spray, which falls out of the cylinder at each end. The patient is then placed opposite one end of the glass cylinder, and by breathing draws a considerable portion of the spray into his air-passages." Dr. Smyly relates a case of obstinate laryngeal affection which was completely cured by the inhalation of a pulverized solution of Nitrate of Silver (gr. xv. ad Aq. fl. oz. j.). Solutions of Tannin and other substances have also been employed in the same manner by Dr. M. Mackenzie.
* Dict. Pract. Surg., p. 709. ' Nouv. Journ. de Med., vol. v. p. 89.
Clin. Lect. vol. i. p. 135. § Dublin Quarterly Review, Nov. 1864.