This section of the book is from the "Household Companion: The Family Doctor" book
Convulsions may be either general or partial, affecting only the muscles of the eyes or eyelids, of the face, or of one of the extremities, or of one side of the body; or they may shake the whole frame in convulsive agitation, such as occur in epilepsy.
When a Child is seized with Convulsions, the most generally available remedy is the warm bath, and if used with judgment is a good one. The temperature should be 98°; if the child is strong and plethoric, it should not be immersed above the waist, and, while in the bath, cold should be applied to the head; if the child is weak, it may be put in the water above the shoulders; in either case the immersion is to be continued for twenty minutes, and an injection of warm water and soapsuds immediately administered. When the child is taken out of the bath, it should at once be wrapped up in warm blankets and laid in its cradle or in bed, and cold used to the head, or not, as thought well; and if the fits still continue, mustard-plasters made with half oatmeal may be applied to the legs, but must be removed as soon as the skin is well reddened. When an Adult is seized with Convulsions, the treatment, conducted upon the same principles, must be very similar to that recommended for a child, with exception of the bath, which cannot be conveniently used; in its stead, a warm bed, with hot applications to the feet, limbs, etc., must be substituted, and mustard-plasters may be used more freely. If there is much heat or excited action about the head, it should be shaved, or the hair cut close off, and cold or iced applications freely employed. In following out these directions, the nonprofessional will be doing much, and indeed ail they can legitimately do during the longer or shorter interval that must necessarily elapse before the case is seen by a medical man. Lastly, it must be borne in mind that convulsions are not unfrequent in extreme intoxication, and also in poisoning from narcotics, such as opium; their occurrence from such causes would, of course, materially modify the treatment. In children particularly, they are unquestionably the frequent result of the administration of laudanum, and more frequently still of quack soothing medicines and elixirs.
Chamomilla, for teething children. Spigelia, if caused by worms. To relieve spasms, let them inhale Amyl nitrite, one part, alcohol, nine parts, till relieved.
Cuprum for cramps anywhere. Phosphorus for cramps in limbs, especially in pregnant females.