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is no longer dependent upon times and seasons. For the immediate relief of the early symptoms, a little vapor of cubebs or saltpetre, or a weak solution of salicylic acid or borax, may serve the purpose, but for a cure, a treatment of the diathesis best answers. If the diathesis be of gout, I have great faith in salicylate of potash; if of scrofula, some form of mercury would do good, while salicylate would be wasted time and material.

And speaking of salicylate of potash, I have very little faith in its ability to reduce temperature, but the fever accompanying this condition is very readily controlled by a combination of the salicylate with sulph. quin.

And here again we see an evidence of the justice of some of the principles of Homœopathic practice, viz., that a treatment which will certainly subdue a fever arising from one cause, is with modifications good treatment in all other fevers.

In this connection I cannot too highly recommend the use of water internally and externally, varied from ice-water to hot water, according to the indications, for all conditions, whether pathological or physiological.

In hay-fever, one of the most intolerable symptoms is a burning or itching sensation at various points of the body, notably at the inside of the calves of the legs. This is either entirely relieved, or rendered nearly imperceptible in a very few minutes by a hot bath, followed by a solution of borax in water, or water and alcohol; and free perspiration, without being excessive, is maintained by indulging at the same time in plentiful libations of either ice-water or hot tea, as the appetite may crave. The chief difficulty to be provided against afterward, is sudden reduction of surface temperature, and this end is excellently well served by some newly-put-upon-themarket underwear, viz., that made of a large sized net-work, similar to a fish net, which by its large meshes enables a considerable layer of air to officiate between the skin and the clothing, as a gradual medium of exchange of temperature between the body and the external atmosphere. Thus, by a simple mechanical contrivance, we can materially assist in the conservation of body-heat in winter, and the gradual dispersion of the same in summer.

This contrivance, which feels excellent, and makes a splendid appearance, I regard as of great interest to all, for the greater part of our ailments are the result of our carelessness in this regard, either arising from our ignorance or from circumstances beyond our control whereby we fail to regulate somatic heat-production or heat dispersion.

WH

SECTION VI.-Continued.

Hydrogen Dioxide.

PAPER BY A. W. HARLAN, OF THE SECTION.

HEN the treatment of alveolar abscess was under discussion before the Section on Diseases of the Teeth in the International Medical Congress, last summer, Mr. Walter H. Coffin, of London, spoke of the use of hydrogen dioxide, and of its efficiency in those cases where no fistulous opening was established, mentioning casually that by injecting the sac with this new agent it could be easily evacuated without coagulation of the contents or clogging the canals at the apices. After some ten months' quite constant use of this remedy, I am induced to present a few observations on the preparation of H, O,, and the mode of using it.

2

As it is not always possible to obtain hydrogen dioxide of suf ficient strength to be useful, the following is offered to enable those who may so desire to prepare it for themselves: To prepare hydrogen dioxide small portions of purified moist barium dioxide (binoxide of barium) are gradually added to a cold mixture of one part of sulphuric acid and five parts of distilled water, taking care to prevent the temperature from rising beyond 68° F., and suspending the addition when the liquid has only a slightly-acid reaction. The precipitated sulphate of barium is allowed to deposit, and the liquid is filtered off. It is best to retain the slight excess of sulphuric acid, since the compound keeps better when this is done. The solution thus obtained, which scarcely ever contains over five per cent. of hydrogen dioxide, may be concentrated either by exposing it in vacuo over sulphuric acid at a temperature of 59° to 68° F., or it may be exposed to cold and frozen, and the frozen portion removed. The residuary liquid by the latter process will be much more concentrated than that by the former, as hydrogen dioxide does not freeze even at 30° F. If the solution is allowed to evaporate over sulphuric acid, it may happen that bubbles of oxygen will begin to be given off. In this case, the addition of a few drops of sulphuric acid will arrest further decomposition.

The aqueous solution, if not too strong, can be preserved for months if it is kept in a cold place, not exposed to light. Hydrogen dioxide is easily soluble in ether. If the aqueous solution is shaken with ether, the latter dissolves out the dioxide. The ethereal solution is much more stable than the aqueous, and may even be distilled without decomposition. An easy test for determining the quantity of hydrogen dioxide present in any aqueous solution may be made by strongly acidulating the liquid with sulphuric acid, and adding from a burette a solution of potassium permanganate of known strength until the purple tint of the latter is no longer destroyed. In this case the following reaction takes place :

Potassium Permang.

K, Mn, Og

+

K, SO

+

Potas. Sulphate.

2

3H, S O1 + H2 O2
Sulphuric Acid.
Hyd. Diox.

2Mn S 04 + 4H, O + 30
Mang. Sulphate. Water. Oxygen.

Each gram of potassium permanganate used corresponds to 0.108 gram of hydrogen dioxide.

During the past year, in general medicine, renewed attention has been drawn to this agent, and the most extraordinary curative effects have been attributed to it, with what propriety the future will show. It is, for instance, stated that "no physician who has only once tried hydrogen dioxide applied in spray to suppurating eyes or suppurating wounds will ever want to be without it." Passing a few times across a sick chamber while projecting a spray of a two-per-cent. solution renders the air odorless and pure," etc. To show its antiseptic properties, Guttman mixed nine parts of urine with one part of dioxide and allowed it to remain nine months, and it did not putrefy. MM. Béchamp and Paul Bert have, by a series of experiments, discovered that oxidized water arrests fermentation from the presence of living organisms, but is inert in the presence of amorphous ferments, such as diastase, saliva, pancreatic juice, etc. As it is not improbable that the compound will be more frequently experimented with than before these later investigations, some statements contained in a recent circular of H. Trommsdorf, the well-known manufacturer of chemicals at Erfurt, Germany, will be of interest. He says: "It is occasionally stated that distilled water can contain 'ten volumes of hydrogen dioxide;' this is wrong, and is due to an erroneous conception of the words 'ten volumes' which is attached to the quotation of the article in the price-lists. Hydrogen dioxide in its pure state is a liquid, and not a gas, and the

"ten volumes' is meant to convey that the product contains ten volumes of available oxygen,-or, in other words, one measure of the commercial liquid can give off ten measures of oxygen. This corresponds to a three-per-cent. solution of hydrogen dioxide. A 'twovolume' solution would be one which gives off twice its volume of oxygen, or which contains 0-6 per cent. of H, O,. Most of the peroxide of hydrogen in the market is little more than a solution of commercial barium dioxide in dilute hydrochloric acid, and possessing but feeble keeping qualities." At present Trommsdorf's product contains three per cent., or varies but a trifle from that figure. It must be kept in a cold, dark place, in glass-stoppered bottles, which should be small if the consumption of the article is insignificant.

I have always used the aqueous solution in the treatment of blind alveolar abscesses and pyorrhea alveolaris, as I have found the rapid evolution of the oxygen to effect a thorough evacuation of the pus. One may see the thin, frothy contents of a non-fistulous abscesseven though the tooth is in the lower maxilla-gradually escape from the sac beneath, if this agent is thoroughly applied. Hydrogen dioxide is such an unstable compound that it immediately decomposes when exposed to the air or is brought into contact with the contents of the sac, liberating oxygen, which unites with the pus and causes it to escape. The unsatisfied molecules of oxygen mechanically distend the sac, thus forcing the pus from it, and thereby causing its complete evacuation. Such an agent must commend itself to any one for the simplicity of its working, as a ready and efficient means of accomplishing so difficult an undertaking as the removal of pus from around the apex of a lower cuspid or bicuspid, without creating any unpleasant after-effect. In practice, after opening the canal, I at first very gently wash out the canal from whence the pus is oozing, and afterward carefully inject the remedy into the sac, which is immediately distended by the evolution of oxygen, and the complete evacuation of its contents follows. I then introduce strands of cotton saturated with volatile eucalyptus, and lightly seal the cavity. The dressing is to be changed in three days, when, if there is no pus or odor, the canal, is to be packed tightly with cotton moistened as before, and sealed with gutta-percha. In a week or ten days the root may be filled, leaving the cavity of decay to be filled when convenient. In some cases it may be necessary to use hydrogen dioxide two or three times, at intervals of three or four days, in order to arrest the production of pus. It is always neces

sary to adjust the rubber dam over the tooth while treating it or changing the dressing. I prefer the volatile eucalyptus as the afterdressing, on account of its not being escharotic or irritating to such a surface as is presented after the use of H, O,

These brief observations are not offered for the purpose of discouraging the so-called “radical" treatment of latent abscesses connected with teeth, but to place in the hands of careful and delicate manipulators a remedy which will prevent much suffering to the patient, if used intelligently. I venture to suggest that H, O, may become useful as a bleaching agent for discolored teeth, as it is now largely used in the arts for bleaching; but, so far, I have not tried it for that purpose. Other uses of this new agent will, doubtless, suggest themselves,—a remedy which, I hope, is to become a valuable addition to our too slender list of efficient therapeutical agents.

DISCUSSIONS.

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Prof. MAYR: One of the sentences of Dr. Rawls's paper was, we not presuming too much on the vis vitæ and recognizing too little the chemical forces in our treatment of such cases." I have heard the expression vis vitæ used very frequently, but not a person thus using it has been able to give me an acceptable definition. Before I can say any thing about it I would like to hear Dr. Rawls's definition of it.

Dr. RAWLS: Vis vitæ is my idea of what is generally called a force which we know not of, a force which is mysterious and intangible, which is referred to as the force of life separate and apart from physical, chemical, or chemico-physical action.

Prof. MAYR: It is in my opinion nothing but an empty word, and whenever I hear the expression "vis vitæ," I like to know the exact component of the vis vitæ which is referred to. For instance, it is said that "vital force" unites by first intention the two surfaces of a recent wound. That is an expression in my opinion that ought not to be used in our scientific century. There is something definite which acts to unite them. How are those surfaces united? We find that proliferation takes place, but what produces this? The only scientific answer is, I do not know; for we cannot go further without using an empty word, which does nothing but blur our minds and impede our progress. I now understand the gentleman perfectly well, but I thought perhaps he had a peculiar idea that I would have liked to get the definition of.

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