These ague-fits, like the epilepsy, are more easily prevented than remedied or removed, after they have once commenced; the system
is much weaker after the first paroxysm, than before.
The arteries are so excessively dilated by the redundancy of blood, that notwithstanding their temporary stricture, acquired by the
fever heat upon them, it is soon lost; and being lost, they are in a greater degree of laxity than before.
The use of the electric shock in removing an ague, is sometimes very considerable, and often a radical cure; it is of use to throw off the jaundice,
to regulate the secretions, and in fine, to prevent its terminating in a bilious fever.
But this is not all; it will prevent the gradual reduction of the existing tension in the system, by preventing the dilation of the arteries, through the
redundancy of blood in this unnatural reflux upon them.
That this operation may be made properly, the shocks must be passed through every part of the system, but especially through the chest;
and this must be done at the instant, or if you can guess the time, a few minutes before the sensation of cold commences: these shocks
must be repeated until the sensation of cold subsides: the intention of the shocks is to stimulate, or impart elastic springs upon the arteries, thereby to enable them
to perpetuate the free flow of blood towards the surface, which they will do, and restore a sensation of warmth in consequence thereof: in performing this, the
arteries are secured from that redundancy which ultimately diminishes their existing tensity; and the patient is relieved from much pain and distress, even when the fits are not
intirely removed thereby.
But by performing this operation, at the proper time, as above mentioned, for two or three several paroxysms, they will frequently cure; and if not, they will
greatly relieve the patient.
The shocks must be passed from the right hand to the left, from the sides of the neck to the feet, and from the back to the feet: lastly, pass a few from the forehead to the feet,
if there should be any pain in the head.
By this time it must be understood, that the shocks must be light, as this is well known to be a case of very great laxity.
The minutest care is absolutely necessary, that the patient observe a steady degree of warmth; the most trifling variation, or the least degree of coolness,
but for a minute, will induce a fit of the ague, in this critical situation; so also will a little mental or bodily exercise, or food that is not easily digested;
all these things must be observed by the person who wishes to be restored in a short time.
It should be remembered, that if by any inattention or carelessness, a fit is induced, the consequence will be, that the cure is unavoidably procrastinated several days.
Hence from a number of these causes, it has happened that physicians have so frequently failed of
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