Case of Hydrophobia

1857 Boston Medical and Surgical Journal  
Mr. G. S., 56 years of age, subject for the last fifteen years to occasional attacks of asthma, but otherwise healthy, on returning to his home on the evening of August 8th, 1857, complained to his wife of feeling unwell, with absenee of pain but a sense of fatigue and weakness, and remarked that although he could breathe better than usual, yet whenever he felt the wind blowing in his face it distressed him unaccountably. His wife, thinking it might be only the commencement of one of his
more » ... ic attacks, proposed his taking a bowl of gruel ; but on attempting to drink it, he found difficulty in swallowing, accompanied with great distress in breathing, which he thought was relieved by the repeated inhalation of chloroform, this having been of service to him when troubled with asthma. He therefore resorted to it at intervals throughout the night. I saw him the next morning (August 9th), and the second day of his illness, and gathered the above account from his family. I found him sitting on a couch, his countenance anxious, mind somewhat desponding, with partial delirium, singularly intermixed with sane conversation. Pulse 86 ; tongue clean and natural. He expressed a sense of great suffering, but could not locate his pain. Said he thought he had hydrophobia, as he was bitten by a dog a few weeks ago. On referring to the family for a corroboration of any such circumstance, they expressed their ignorance of his statement, and the remark was attributed to his partial delirium, though he persisted in reiterating the assertion. On testing his ability to swallow, beef-tea was offered him, and though he evidently made great effort to drink, it was with much difficulty, and swallowing was imperfectly accomplished. By waiting for a favorable moment, just at the termination of an inspira-
doi:10.1056/nejm185710150571101 fatcat:omgks3f3bffwbjk5vkhe7xa3k4