Having noticed in the last number of the Review cases of Croup, reported by Dr. Wells as being successfully treated by the use of high attenuations, I have thought it might be interesting to your readers to have cases from another locality, demonstrating the success of this course.
I was present at the meeting of the Institute when Dr. P. P. Wells made public his success with Boenninghausen's method, and resolved to give it a trial the first opportunity, and it was not long before I had the chance to do so.
Case I. — June 14th, 1860. Was called at two o'clock, a.m., to see a child with Croup, aged two years, very fleshy, light complexion, blue eyes, light hair, and very subject to croupy attacks, but had never had one as severe and sudden at this. The child was sitting up with pitiful look, extreme difficulty of breathing, dry stridulous cough, skin dry and hot, except the extremities which were cold; pulse quick, irregular, and wiry, I was unable to count it. I gave the Aconite, Hepar sulph. and Spongia, each two hundredth attenuation, at half-hour intervals, the child took four doses only and was entirely relieved; skin moist, cough loose and slept quietly, nothing more was given. Former attacks, although not as severe as this, have never been relieved in less than five or six days. There have been two attacks since less severe, which have been relieved by two or three doses.
During the Fall of 1860, we had measles very prevalent in our city, and in many cases very severe. Several cases occurred of croup setting in from the fourth to the sixth day of the measles, and destroying life in a few hours. One case, under my care, died in less than an hour after the first hoarseness was perceived.
During this epidemic, I was called to see a child three years old, eruption of measles had been out two days, the catarrhal symptoms were pretty severe and was now attacked with croup. The eruption had become livid or purple, the head, hands and feet icy cold, nearly pulseless; the respiration was only in gasps, no noise was made by the effort to cough or cry, I made an effort to see the throat but could not. I gave Aconite200 in a little water, and in half an hour the Hepar sulph.200 in the same way; there was a very decided relief before the time came for the dose of Spongia, and the giving of it was delayed half an hour. The remaining doses, one each of Hepar and Spongia, were given at one hour intervals, and I left the child quietly sleeping; cough loose, voice restored and surface warm and moist. There was nothing more given for either the croup or measles, and in a few days the child was in usual health.
The child was three years old; she was attacked in the night; I was sent for, but being absent the mother concluded to do the best she could, and gave Aconite, Spongia, Tart. emetic, Merc. iodatus, &c., with no result, except that the child grew worse. She then obtained some hive syrup, and gave in nauseating doses, the vomiting relieved for a time but there was soon a return of all the symptoms in an aggravated form. Cold compresses on the neck, mustard upon the feet and wrists were now applied, and finally the child was put into a hot mustard bath, but still the disease seemed to be making frightful progress, while the strength of the little sufferer was fast wasting away. The hive syrup was administered for the third time, and at this point I arrived. I do not think I can describe the case so as to give a true picture of it as it was. The cough dry, shrill; the breathing whistling, with violent heaving of the chest, and contortions of the face; the skin dry and hot, the pulse nothing but a tremulous motion. It seemed impossible to me, at first thought, that a dose of Aconite200 could have any effect, taken within five minutes of a desert-spoonful of so vile a mixture as hive syrup; but she was growing rapidly worse and must very soon die unless relieved, and as other means had failed I decided to give it. I gave the Aconite200, had the child wrapped in a clean dry blanket, removing all except the cold compress around the throat, the relief was manifest in less than half an hour, but the doses were repeated until she had taken the second dose of Hep. sulph., they were then omitted and the child slept quietly two hours. Ten hours later, at eight o'clock, p.m., there was a little increased hoarseness, but one dose of Aconite200 removed it and there was nothing more given.
I have during the time, since the first case, treated quite a number of cases of croup and croupy cough of more or less severity, but as they do not present any points out of the usual course, I do not think it worth while to repeat them.
During the time I have practiced Homoeopathy, my experience with croup has been much as Dr. Wells has described, viz.; that the disease will return the second and third nights and where it has been of true membranous character, has given me many anxious and restless nights. Of all the cases that I have treated with the high attenuations, not one single case has required any attention from me after the third or fourth hour from the first dose. I submit the cases and leave each one to draw their own conclusions, but trust it may induce others to make the trial.
Dr. Boenninghausen writes to Dr. Lippe correcting a slight error which has occurred in the publication of his treatment of Croup. He gives five powders with his printed directions for the cure of croup. Nos. 1 and 2 are Aconite, Nos. 3 and 5 Hepar sulph., and No. 4 Spongia, all in the 200th potency. He says that the true and characteristic croup symptoms disappear in almost all cases after the administration of the first powder, provided no other remedies or application have been resorted to. There should be under all circumstances an interval of two hours between Nos. 1 and 2. If the usual improvement has fully set in after No. 1, the interval between the administration of Nos. 2 and 3 should be from 'eight to twelve hours. Nos. 1 and 2 having removed the characteristic inflammatory symptoms, No. 3 (Hepar) will remove the remaining cough and prevent a return of the croup. We trust the above will remove the erroneous impressions entertained by some, that Dr. Boenninghausen favors the alternation of medicines, a fact which is further disproved by his journal, in which a complete record of his cases is made.
|The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 02 No. 12, 1860, pages 558-561
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