By Dr. Newberry
In April number of the homoeopathic World there was an article on the “Influence of Belladonna in Suppurative Inflammation.” As our institution is situated practically in the centre of the town, we get a great number of acute inflammatory conditions resulting from accidents, etc. I determined to try Belladonna on the first opportunity. I had not long to wait, for a day or two after reading the article above referred to I noticed one of the nursing staff had one of her fingers tied up, and was maifestly in great pain. On inquiry I found she had been suffering for five days with a whitlow on the index finger, the anguish of which had kept her awake for three nights. She thought it was ready to be “opened.” I thought so, too, for there was pus all round the base of the nail, and I prepared to make a fee incision. Then I thought this was a good opportunity to try Belladonna. As there was no strength mentioned in the Homoeopathic World, I ordered a compress of tinct. Bell., one part, hot water seven parts, to be renewed every three hours. The effect was magical; pain ceased immediately, and nurse had a good night, the next morning the inflammation was entirely gone; on raising the skin only a little thin serum flowed, and the finger was well in a day or two.
The next case was one of a more serious nature. A man came up to the out-patient department one morning with a septic hand, which he had been poultichig for a week. Belladonna compress, ¼ twice daily, was ordered, and no incision was required.
Mrs. D. had a septic hand from a whitlow, the inflammation extending to the wrist. The pain was intense, and patient had not slept for nights. This time a compress of equal parts of tinct. Belladonna and hot water was ordered, and she was given a supply to repeat it every three hours at home. The next morning when she came up for dressing. The hand was practically well.
On May 15, V.R., a powerful laboring man, was first seen at his sown home. The man was in bed, manifestly with general constitutional disturbance. He had a small punctured wound on the back of the left hand, from which a little foul pus was discharging. The wound was said to have been caused by a rusty nail about a week previously. The whole hand and arm were intensely swollen and painful, enlarged gland at elbow, and the whole limb brawny. It was, in fact, a bad case of acute cellulitis, requiring prompt measures. These would, no doubt, formerly have been free and deep incisions, creolin baths, boric fomentations, etc. Patient had not slept for several nights, and had a temperature considerably over 1010. He was admitted to the hospital, and hot fomentations of Tinct. Belladonna and water, equal parts, were applied to the had and forearm every three hours, while he was given gtt. Ii. Belladonna IX 3h. by the month.
The next morning the patient was reported to have had a very good night; the pain and swelling had gone down, and there was a free discharge of pus from the original wound; temperature normal. As there was some inflammation above the elbow, thee fomentations were extended to the shoulder, but the strength was reduced to ¼. Everything went satisfactorily, and the patient was discharged on the eighth day.
The influence of Belladonna in suppurative inflammations being thus confirmed, hot Belladonna formentations have become a routine practice in our out-patient department, with the most satisfactory results.