Homeopathy Papers

Shock— Traumatic Delirium

Written by J.G. Gilchrist

James G. Gilchrist, M. D., (1842-1906) shares keynotes for shock and traumatic delirium.

Excerpted from: The Homoeopathic Treatment of Surgical Diseases (1873) by James G. Gilchrist, M. D., 1842-1906   

Shock is a state of depression or nervous prostration present after all mechanical injuries, and varies in intensity according to the gravity of the accident.  The symptoms accompanying the immediate results are, coldness, faintness and trembling, pulse small, weak and fluttering.

The mind is shown to be disordered by the face exhibiting mental disquietude, and by anxious and incoherent speech. Death may be the result of shock alone. Even in apparently trivial accidents, the patient may be in a state of physical or mental depression that is sufficient to render the mere shock fatal.

Remote effects may not exhibit themselves until considerable time after the accident. A blow has been received, and weeks, or even in some cases months have elapsed, when neuralgia or inflammation is developed, traceable directly to this blow.

Therapeutics. — The treatment of shock may be moral or medicinal. Often, kind and encouraging words will rally the patient, without any other treatment. An operation should not be performed during the shock. It is best to wait for a reaction. The rule is, in civil practice, wait for reaction, in military, operate as soon as possible after the accident.

The remedies that will be found the most frequently indicated are Arnica, Camphor and Opium. Aconite., Ruta, Rhus, may be, occasionally.  Arnica is always more or less useful, and should be administered even if you have to use stimulants. I find it the most useful where there is diarrhoea.

Opium is indicated when there is coma, incomplete insensibility. The patient will be aroused for a moment on addressing him in a loud tone of voice, and then relapses into stupor, extremities and face bluish, or of a livid color, loud, stertorous respiration, and coldness of the skin.

Camphor is a valuable remedy, and will frequently produce an effect when Opium fails. Cold hands and feet, trembling tongue, trembling of the hands and feet on raising them up.

These three remedies have acted beautifully in my hands. As I have had the privilege of treating a great number of cases of accident, they have had a fair trial. Therefore, I would advise, discard all notions of stimulation and stick to homoeopathy.

Traumatic Delirium

Traumatic Delirium is nothing more than shock modified by existing circumstances. If an individual of a highly nervous or irritable disposition receive a great injury, the shock either degenerates into a delirium, or this condition is present from the first. This delirium is usually of the furious, raving form, though it may occur in almost any form.

Therapeutics — In both of these forms we have a variety of remedies to choose from. Among the most prominent are Aconite, Bell., Bryonia, Cuprum acet., Cuprum met., Ferrum acet., Hell., Hyos., Ign., Lach., and Stram.

Aconite: Inconsolable lamentations, anguish, piteous bowlings, reproaches from trivial causes, disheartening apprehensions, despair, loud moaning, bitter complaints and reproaches, palpitation of the heart, oppressed breathing, increased heat of the body and face, great weariness, apprehensions of approaching death, a strong tendency to be angry or frightened.

Belladonna: Melancholy , great anguish about the heart, merry craziness, sings and warbles an air, immoderate laughter, foolish manners, violent weeping, moaning and howling, tearfulness, despondency, dejection of spirits, apathy, great irritability  of the senses, rage, frenzy, bites everything in his way, shy  craziness , tries to escape, violent redness of the face , dark, red  and bloated face, shining, sparkling eyes.

Bryonia: Apprehensions , uneasiness, and dread on account of the future , vehemence, cold sweat on the forehead and head, faintness and nausea on sitting up in bed, has to lie down again, bloated, red and hot face, delirium about the day’s business.  (compare Veratrum alb.)

Cuprum acetic: Great absence of mind, tendency to start, the eyes are sunken, staring, as if riveted in the sockets, cold  sweat, spasmodic distortion of the face.

Cuprum metallicum: Anguish , restless tossing about and  constant weariness, delirium, attacks of craziness and vertigo, slow pulse, flushes of heat, colic, red, inflamed eyes, with wild  looks, pale face.

Ferrum acet:  Vehement, quarrelsome, anxiety, great languor, fainting spells, coldness, want of animal heat, viscid,  exhausting sweats, livid or pale face and lips sometimes fiery red face.

Helleborus: Silent melancholy, involuntary sighing, obstinate silence, spasmodic rigidity of the limbs, with concussive shaking of the head, general sweat, dullness, confusion of the head, inability to reflect, pale face.

Hyoscyamus Nig: Indomitable rage, horrid anguish, complains of having been poisoned, raging, desire to go naked day and night, sleepless, screaming, repeated fainting-fits, cold and  sour sweat, complete stupefaction, loss of sense, does not know  his relatives, red, sparkling eyes, staring, distorted eyes , open eyes, distorted in different directions, bluish face , cold, pale face, or brown-red, swollen face.

Ignatia: Great tendency to start, boldness, the slightest contradiction irritates, ill-humor and anger, impatience, irresoluteness, quarrelsome, intolerance of noise, sadness, weeping and laughing almost in one breath, sweat on the face, face pale, red or bluish, involuntary sighing.

Lachesis: Feels sad, discouragement and loathing of life, mistrustful, suspicious, doubts everything, peevish, fault-finding, malice, hurriedness and uneasiness, great nervous irritability excessive moaning and complaining of one’s pains, morbid talkativeness, small and quick pulse, distension of the face, sunken face, showing great suffering, pale face.

Stramonium: Indomitable rage, talkativeness, great desire to bite, fear, convulsions, weariness of the mind, subsultus tendinum, spasmodic movements , strong pulse, copious sweat, swollen and red face, sparkling, glistening eyes, staring somnolent eyes.

About the author

J.G. Gilchrist

OF IOWA, CHICAGO. Author of - The homoeopathic treatment of surgical diseases, Published 1873. Surgical emergencies and accidents, Published 1884. The elements of surgical pathology : with therapeutic hints, Published 1896. Surgical diseases and their homoeopathic therapeutics, Published 1880.

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