After surgical operations, especially, and occasionally at other times, when there is severe irritation of the stomach with a constant tendency to vomit when fluids are taken, it is the custom to withdraw water and other liquids. This sometimes produces extreme thirst, restlessness and general discomfort. Dr. Trowbridge says he has observed that if compresses be applied to the head or to the stomach, saturated in either cool, cold, or hot water, as the patient is best suited with, or if the patient be frequently sponged with water of agreeable temperature the thirst is materially abated and is occasionally entirely relieved, greatly to the satisfaction and comfort of the patient.
This is a very simple suggestion but every surgeon meets with frequent cases in which its application will do much towards keeping down the restlessness, and contributing to the general comfort of the patient. It may be persisted in until the stomach is quiet, and drinks can be permitted.
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.