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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 33

Case VI.—Cough of nearly a Year's duration

Case VI.—Cough of nearly a Year's duration.

A young lady in Biggar was seized in December 1866 with inflammation of bowels, complicated with pleurisy in the left side of a severe character. For three weeks or a month her life was nearly despaired of. She was confined to bed all winter, the effusion from the pleurisy being so great, that during all that time the lung gave a deadened sound on percussion, and from the constancy and severity of her cough, I greatly dreaded consumption as the issue. No remedies seemed to take much effect; but on the approach of good summer weather she greatly improved in every way. During the month of June the cough left her, or nearly, but began in July and since continued. page 27 All the ordinary remedies were tried for it, in addition to repeated changes of scene. When I began the sulphur fumes on 5th October 1867, her cough was very considerable, especially in the mornings and during the night; a slight degree of wheezing in the chest of long standing—not every day alike, some days scarcely perceptible, but after any exposure sure to be worse. At this time, too, the palms of the hand were generally warm, indicating a slight degree of fever, and the night sweats were constant and excessive. When I recommended her to be exposed one hour night and morning to the sulphur fumes, it was under the idea that, the cold season now setting in, the cough was almost certain to get worse, and continue so during the winter. Treatment began Oct. 5.

Result, Oct. 10th.—This day made a special visit and jotted down the following on the instant:—Her mamma says, 'R—is all but well.' Whereas she used to cough incessantly all night, more or less all day, and had always a bad brush every morning, now she has no cough at all, except still a considerable brush in the mornings. Look of health greatly improved. No heat in hands. I found her in a dusty room, amusing herself with the servants while ticks were being turned up, and a great amount of organic impurities floating in the air. I told them that this one exposure with an asthmatic patient might retard the cure, and confine many a one to bed for a fortnight. I resolved not to be disappointed though the cough were to return for two or three days.

12th Oct.—Fully better than when I saw her on the 10th. On the night of the 10th she did cough considerably, but none last night. Still coughed this morning a little, but very loose. The cure may almost be said to be complete. Note.—The girl who administered the fumes has had a sore nostril, up within on the mucous membrane, since the month of June, which she never could heal by glycerine, zinc ointment, etc., and this little obstinate sore has become better during the one week's exposure to the fumes. Resolution.—I am treating at present some obstinate skin diseases, of many years' duration, with the lotion. If they won't yield to the lotion I must try the fumes.

(To be continued if thought necessary.)

Oct. 20th.—Cough not yet quite gone. But the fumes have done immense good undoubtedly. General health and appetite greatly better.

Dec. 4.—Still keeping comparatively well, and, as I think, has escaped consumption.

Jan. 12, 1868.—Kept well since last report, except that she had a threatening of croup a few days ago; which was arrested at once by spray and sulphur fumes; a dose of castor-oil was all the medicine she afterwards required.