These are used for various purposes. Most commonly, into the bowels, to empty the lower bowel, when this is considered more prompt and convenient than medicine by the mouth. The old-fashioned way was with a large syringe, holding about a pint. Now, gum-elastic ball-and-tube arrangements are employed, which one can use himself. Only common sense is necessary for the introduction of the oiled end of the tube of either kind; and gradual moderate force to cause the material to enter. It should then be kept by the patient for five or ten minutes, for an effectual operation. Smaller syringes, of course, half or quarter pints, are suitable for children. For a child, warm water alone will sometimes suffice. A common mixture for opening injections is made by mixing well together a pint (nearly) of soapsuds (castile soap, at least for delicate persons), a tablespoonful of salt, a tablespoonful of molasses, and a tablespoonful of oil, either sweet or castor oil, according to the case.

Enema Syringe.

Injections are used sometimes to relieve pain, or to check obstinate diarrhoea. Of the former, the most extreme kind of colic, passing a gravel-stone from the kidney to the bladder, or of a gall-stone through the gall-duct, or strangury, or threatened abortion (miscarriage during pregnancy) are examples. In dysentery, as well as in diarrhoea, such injections may be called for; laudanum being most frequently (in all the above-mentioned cases) so employed.

For a grown person, the smallest amount likely to do good in such a way is thirty or forty drops of laudanum. It is best to mix it, for injection, with a small amount of starch (prepared as for the laundry, only thin enough to pass through a syringe), and then to use a small syringe holding from half an ounce to two ounces only. The object here is to have the material injected to remain in the bowel, as long as it will; so that the anodyne (laudanum) may have time to take effect. Sometimes great suffering will justify sixty-drop injections of laudanum, or even more; but such had better be used only under the advice of a physician. Other medicines also are occasionally presented for administration in the same way. Now and then four-ounce enemata of flaxseed tea are employed in dysentery.

Nourishing enemata are often resorted to, when, for various reasons, food cannot be taken by the mouth. Half or a quarter of a pint will be enough at a time for this purpose; as it is important for it to remain and be absorbed. Beef-tea, milk, or raw eggs beaten up with milk, will be the best materials. Sometimes pure fresh beefs blood is so used. An example of a nourishing injection may be the following:

To five ounces of finely scraped meat, and five and a half ounces of finely chopped sweetbread freed from fat, add three or four fluidounces of lukewarm water. Stir together into a pulp. It will be well to wash out the lower bowel with an injection of warm water, about an hour before introducing a nourishing enema.

It may be mentioned, in view of a possible emergency in the absence of a physician, that the instrument used for hypodermic injection is a small glass syringe made for the purpose, ending in a tube of steel or silver to puncture the skin and introduce the liquid. Having drawn into the syringe the amount to be used, the skin of the part selected (an arm, the back, abdomen, a thigh, or the calf of one of the legs) is drawn up with the forefinger and thumb of the left hand. With the right hand, the point of the tube (after being oiled) is pushed almost horizontally through the skin, and then the fluid is rather slowly pressed out of the syringe. The latter is to be withdrawn without twisting it; all must be done so as to cause as little irritation as possible. From one-third to one-half of the dose by the mouth is the quantity of any drug employed in this way. Anodyne and stimulant medicines are, more than any others, used hypodermically. Sometimes the habit of taking hypodermic injections of morphia is acquired, and is as hard to break as smoking opium or laudanum drinking.