Dr. Spooner on the Different Modes of Treating Disease

1862 Boston Medical and Surgical Journal  
As I touched her wrist, a very severe spasm ensued. Anticipating: this, I had some chloroform ready on a handkerchief, and applied it to her mouth and nose. The rigidity was so great as almost to stop respiration, but a few feeble inspirations quickly allayed the attack. I now gave an emetic, and renewed the chloroform from time to time, so as to prevent any decided convulsion. At 7 o'clock, I gave six grains of iodide of potassium, with four drops of tincture of iodine ; at 9, gave five grains
more » ... 9, gave five grains of calomel, with one third of a grain of the sulphate of morphia, followed by salts and senna in the morning. During the night, there was great muscular soreness, burning heat of the stomach and bowels, and vomiting of ropy fluid, which gradually abated, till in a few days the patient was well. At my request, she poured out into my hand amounts of strychnia equal to those which she had taken. One weighed seven, and the other six grains, these consisting of pure crystals. Being mingled with her dinner, the poison was doubtless but slowly absorbed, so that she got the effect of but a part, at any one time, and a portion of it was probably ejected in vomiting. The iodide of potassium may have had no effect in neutralizing the poison, but the camphor and chloroform were probably far more effective than would have been the freest use of the best old Bourbon ! While treating a paraplegic patient, in May, 1855, with strychnia, its effects would occasionally extend to the upper portion of his body. My patient fancied he had better use of his limbs after such action, and would sometimes take his own. dose. He would bear from one to one and a half grains, before the effect would pass from his legs. From two to three grains would produce complete rigidity, but it was uniformly controlled by bathing the face with spirits of camphor, and taking a few drops internally. Once he took. four grains, and then the camphor failed, but chloroform at once arrested the convulsions. My patient was incurable, and I allowed him to please his fancy, while I satisfied myself as to some of the effects of strychnia, and in the influence of camphor and chloroform over them. Since then, several articles have appeared in your Journal confirming my observations, and I can hardly account for the want of such knowledge as is implied in tho newspaper report of the case of Gordon. Yours &e,
doi:10.1056/nejm186205010661302 fatcat:oc265wgdmbhixd2dxuqx7tlq7m