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III. DELIRIUM TREMENS. It would seem at first as though there
should be some excuse for including this in the surgical course.
The excuse in my mind is that we have so much to do with it in all
surgical cases, and that it is especially in surgical cases that it
complicates the treatment, and leads to so many bad results. By
delirium tremens we mean a peculiar condition of the nervous system
produced by the use of alcohol, and, perhaps, by its too sudden
abandonment. I would not, however, confine the evils of the effects
of alcohol in surgical cases merely to this disease. Yon all, I
think, must notice as you go on through hospital practice and
sights that the patients who do not drink do a great deal better
than those who do, in every form of accident and injury. The
calmness of body and mind is with the temperate. The resistance to
shock is with the temperate. The ability to respond to stimulants
promptly is with the temperate, for the intemperate have already
used up their powers of vital resistance; they have become
accustomed to the overuse of stimulants, and they do not respond
readily to them, and you do not get the benefit from stimulants
which you expect. An illustration of this is seen in etherization;
as we said before, it takes a great quantity of ether, and
laborious and excitable and protracted etherization, to overcome
the drunkard, and make him go to sleep; whereas the patient who is
temperate, as a rule, takes it calmly, succumbs to it easily and
recovers promptly. There can be no doubt, I think, that the
continuous use of alcohol has a deleteriouseffect on the tissues,
hardens them, thickens them, prevents absorption as readily,
dilates the veius, leads to a slow and labored circulation; in that
way delays absorption, and, moreover, produces finally som...
General Books LLC
|Country of origin:
David Williams Cheever
||246 x 189 x 10mm (L x W x T)
||Paperback - Trade
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