This section is from the book "Practical Dietetics With Special Reference To Diet In Disease", by William Gilman Thompson. Also available from Amazon: Practical Dietetics with Special Reference to Diet in Disease.
Attempts are sometimes made to get nourishment into the body by means of inunction through the skin, and olive oil, cod-liver oil, and cacao butter are rubbed into the integument of the abdomen and thighs. This means is naturally only employed in cases of extreme emaciation from wasting diseases, such as carcinoma, marasmus, and phthisis. It has proved mainly useful with marasmic infants, but it is doubtful whether it possesses any true value beyond the advantage of lubricating a dry and shrivelled skin, and retaining some of the body heat in case of great feebleness.
In extreme cases of collapse, where death has seemed imminent, nutrient injections have sometimes been given directly into the veins. Of late years, however, it has been shown that in collapse from haemorrhage, or from loss of fluid in the evacuations of Asiatic cholera and cholera morbus in infants, salt-water injections (a drachm to the pint) answer as well, and have the advantage of being much safer and easier of application.
Hodder was the first to practise the intravenous injection of milk in 1850 for collapse from Asiatic cholera, and T. G. Thomas was among the first to inject warm milk into one of the veins of the arm. He reported one case in which eight ounces of milk administered in this way saved life. Both goat's and cow's milk have been so used, but the milk must be rendered alkaline.
Down reports similar success. Fowler tried intravenous injection of peptone solution, and has given as much as six ounces of a digested beef solution in this manner. The peptone does not reappear in the urine, but the casein of milk does, as well as solutions of sugar or albumin when injected into a vein. Some of the fat droplets in milk have greater diameter than the capillaries, which might prove a practical objection to the injection of unskimmed milk.
Feeding in cases of desperate exhaustion by hypodermic injections of milk and of peptone solutions has been several times attempted, but the results, beyond the use of alcohol by this method, have not proved sufficiently satisfactory to warrant its continuance.
Bayle has employed the yolk of egg diluted with an equal weight of normal salt solution (7:1,000), giving three drachms at a dose. Lecithin has been similarly injected.
Crede has made use of a preparation, which he calls "Kalodol," containing 95 per cent of soluble meat albumin and 0.2 per cent of salt. He adds 50 grammes of a 10-per-cent solution of Kalodol to 500 cc. of normal salt solution for hypodermoclysis. This preparation is also quickly absorbed from the rectum.