In the treatment of chronic cases of nasal catarrh a writer in the Medical Summary states that he has been experimenting with the use of a copper electrode introduced into the nasal cavity. He connects the electrode with the positive pole of the battery and brings the copper surface into immediate contact with the mucous membranes of the post-nasal passages.
The negative pole of the battery is covered with a sponge and held in the patient's hand, the amount of the current is regulated by the sensitiveness of the membrane and varies not only in different patients but at different times in the same patient. An average strength for the current is twenty-five or thirty millamperes, and may be used for a period of ten minutes in each nostril at least twice each week.
The observation is that a chemical compound is made, resulting in the oxychloride of copper which forms at the positive pole. It possesses an acid reaction and supplies oxygen direct. This substance is deposited upon the mucous membranes. It is distinctly anesthetic, stimulating and healing. It acts quite quickly relieving congestion and irritation, producing beneficial effects at once. While especially applicable to chronic conditions, it is beneficial also in acute cases.
Enlargements and surgical conditions must be treated by other methods, but an old sluggish ulcer will heal more quickly by this method than by any other. The electrode must be kept slowly moving, as otherwise it will adhere. If it does adhere, reverse the current and slowly move the electrode until it is loosened.
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.