with electricity in manner and degree suited to the exigency of the case.
In treating fever by electricity, in constitutions more infirm and delicate, the operations
must be made in a milder manner and degree; the shocks must be passed in the same directions as
before described; the tension must be taken off in the lower extremeties first, (except in pregnant women,
which circumstance will require a little different treatment:) there is less danger of inducing
disagreeable sensations, such as faintness, trembling, &c. The system will be greatly rellieved,
without passing a single shock upon the vital part. It is prudent to give a very weakly person all
the relief possible by this first operation. It will sometimes be necessary to administer a dose
of elix. parag. or diluted opium; or, if you please, in substance, to keep up the vital strength of
the patient, after a short evacuation by perspiration.
It may be observed, that the weaker the constitution of the patient, the less will the tension of the
fever resist the operation of the electric shock. The lesser quantity, then, will produce the same effect
on a weak person, a child, &c. that a larger quantity will upon a sound, strong man. A shock that would
scarcely take off any degree of tension in a strong man, would reduce a weak man, even in a fever,
greatly beyond par. The operator must, as was said before, be acquainted with his own machine: He must
observe the different degrees of the charge by the electrometer - must notice how well
people are affected by them - must notice what degree will be felt in a well man,
no higher than his wrists, when the shock is passed from hand to hand through the breast - what
degree of the electrometer will jar the same man to his elbows - what degree will affect him
to his shoulders; and, lastly, what degree will jar him in his breast.
This last is the highest degree that should ever be administered: It is hardly ever necessary,
even in the highest degree of tension, in a strong man; it may as well be performed by an increased
number of weaker shocks, which are much safer and easier for the patient.
I have frequently observed, that a shock which could be felt in a strong man, or woman, no higher than
the wrist, would jar a weak person smartly in the breast, and would be almost the over-action of the shock in them.
Let the degree of the shock be what it may, if a person feels hurt in the breast with it, he is hurt indeed; it is the
over-action of the shock to him. hence we infer the absolute necessity of commencing the operations in
a reduced degree; and that they may be increased,
partly by consulting the patient, especially if a delicate one, and partly by the operator's
absolute judgment. In case of pregnancy, the shocks must not be passed obliquely, but passed from about
the hip joints to the foot on the same side, and that but lightly; the legs must
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