The following is taken from Dr. Jentzsch's paper. We expect to produce the paper in full next month:
"Four years ago my son, 11 years of age, was stricken with a fulminating case of nasopharyngeal diphtheria. The serum antitoxin was exhibited promptly in sufficiently large doses, and was repeated with no other result, but that the child passed from an active sthenic condition, with dyspnea, into a passive collapse with apsea. This I had witnessed before and now knew to be fatal with certainty. When the case seemed beyond human help I filled my hypodermic syringe with the pure specific lobelia and gave the child the entire dose subcutaneously. Strange to say I gave it with a confidence altogether out of proportion to the circumstances. However, the result proved this to be justified, for the patient responded immediately in a marvelous manner.
All the fatal symptoms gave way to those of returning health, the patient passing from a death-like struggle into a peaceful slumber from which he awoke after three hours, somewhat weak. Another dose was given which was followed by a still more pronounced reaction for the better. The patient from that time continued to convalesce with the exception of a post diphtheritic pharyngeal paralysis, and made a rapid recovery. The paralysis yielded to a final dose of the same remedy.
Since treating the above case, I have treated one hundred and fifty cases of diphtheria in my practice in Chicago with the above treatment, using in some of the cases in addition our plainly indicated remedies, and every case has recovered. The action of lobelia was uniform in all the cases."
The use of lobelia hypodermically opens up a new field for the study for this remedy. Considered from the point of view of those who have so used it, its influence in some cases is almost miraculous. Dr. Jentzsch has now made more than six hundred injections of from ten minims to a dram. He uses the specific medicine every time, and has had not a single abscess or unpleasant result from the injection.
In the discussion of Dr. Jentzsch's paper on the hypodermic use of full doses of specific lobelia, for the immediate cure of diphtheria, the following facts were brought out:
Lobelia hypodermically in dram doses has not yet with any observer (and observations have been made on over two hundred cases), produced the slightest nausea. The effect of the remedy used in this manner, seems to be entirely different from its well known influence. It acts as a powerful stimulant to the capillary circulation, While it produces relaxation in proper doses it does not produce depression. It improves the action of the heart and circulation at once. It is absolutely benign; no unpleasant effects have yet been noticed; no abscess has yet formed from its injection.
It has been used by our physicians to overcome asphyxia from any cause. It has an immediate influence in some cases of apoplexy, and especially in delirium tremens. It has been used with much benefit in epilepsy. Dr. Jentzsch in one case to resuscitate an infant newly born, injected half of a dram and repeated it in twenty minutes, with pronounced success. In a case of umbilical hemorrhage in a four days old infant he gave one dram hypodermically and produced immediate relief.
Dr. C. P. Reed made some excellent suggestions in the use of saw palmetto. The doctor believes the best preparation is made from seeds recently dried. He gives the remedy in full doses-half of a dram at least of the fluid extract. Its influence is soothing to all mucous membranes, especially those of the bronchial tubes, and of the urinary apparatus. He has cured with it, many cases of persistent winter cough. The effect of the remedy is slow, but very permanent. Where there is chronic prostatitis with these cases in old men, the results are pronounced on both conditions. Its continued use will produce permanent benefit upon the urinary conditions which depend upon the enlarged glands. In any case of prostatitis, he considers it an important remedy.
He has given it in several cases in the latter six or eight weeks of pregnancy, and has obtained results similar to those obtained from the action of mitchella macrotys and other remedies, in preparing the patient for an easy labor.
Dr. Tallerday confirmed all the good things said of this remedy by Dr. Reed and claimed in addition that it causes his patients to gain in flesh, the influence in emaciated patients being apparent. In some cases of marasmus he prefers it to cod liver oil.
Dr. Graves gave the following specific indications for the application of external agents in erysipelas: Where the skin is bright red and the heat is intense, he covers the surface with dry boric acid, and lays over this, a hot, wet compress. Keeps it hot for a while, and then applies a poultice of crushed cranberries or buttermilk.
Where the eruption is dark red, with active circulation and heat, he applies Dr. Whitford's carbolic acid paste, and then applies hot application persistently.
Where the skin is dusky or purplish he applies ichthyol and glycerin.
Dr. Schussler applied acetate of lead, ten grains, in a four ounce solution of equal parts of glycerin and water,
Dr. Tafel uses jaborandi in the treatment of erysipelas or gives an injection in sthenic cases at the onset, of pilocarpine.
Dr. Woodward had a case of severe confluent measles in an adult, 45 years of age, where the burning of the skin, and the itching, were well nigh unbearable. Accompanying this was an extreme headache. Remembering the beneficial influence of veratrum, applied to the burning skin in erysipelas, he added one dram of veratrum to four ounces of water, and sponged the surface of the body rapidly with that. The effect upon the distressing skin symptoms was instantaneous. The relief was immediate. He then gave the patient a few whiffs of chloroform, and the headache disappeared as satisfactorily.
He has since used this application in all cases of burning and itching from eruptive diseases. It not only gives relief, but it promotes a cure of the condition. Wherever pruritus is present, especially if there is a sensation of burning, veratrum applied as above will exercise a soothing influence. When boils occur in crops and persist in spite of the usual treatment, give the patient half of a teaspoonful of a good fluid extract of yellow dock every two or three hours for two days.
When the specific indications for collinsonia are present, the remedy will work much more specifically and more immediately if the intestinal canal be thoroughly cleansed with a mild laxative or with a colonic flushing.
Dr. Tallerday prevents and cures nausea and vomiting after surgical operations, by rectal injections of the normal salt solution, and the peptonoids, to which occasionally prickly ash is added.
In the treatment of facial neuralgia or neuralgia of the head or trunk, Dr. Graves uses one-eighth of a grain of cannabis indica with a little hyoscyamus.
Dr. Tafel has made an extensive observation of the action of sarracenia in the treatment of eruptive fevers. He has used the remedy alone in three hundred cases of scarlet fever, and in two hundred and sixty cases of measles. Its influence, he claims, is undoubtedly specific. The results are so decidedly satisfactory, that he finds it necessary, in but few cases, to use any other treatment. This remedy seems to cover all the indications. He has used the same remedy also in a few cases of small pox, and has been satisfied that its influence was highly beneficial. He obtained good results also in one case of pneumonia. I have been confident for several years that this agent should have a more thorough trial.
The right remedy, in the right dose, at the right time, is curative.-Abbott.
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.