ACUTE BRIGHT'S DISEASE. (Acute Inflammation of the Kidneys)
Categories: Kidney and Bladder
This occurs chiefly in young people and among grown men.
Exciting causes are exposure to cold, wet, burns, extensive skin tears
(lesions), scarlet fever, diphtheria, typhoid fever, measles and acute
tuberculosis, poisons; and pregnancy is one cause when it occurs in women.
Symptoms. After exposure or scarlet fever the onset may be sudden,
sometimes with chills or chilliness, variable fever, pain in the loins,
ery swelling of the face and extremities, then of other portions of the
body like the abdomen, then general dropsy. Sometimes there is nausea,
vomiting, headache, delirium, or very deep sleep. The urine is scanty,
dark colored, of increased "specific gravity" and contains albumin, cells
and casts. Anemia is marked. After some fever disease, the onset is
gradual with anemia, swelling of the eyelids, face and extremities; scanty
thickish urine containing casts, then headache, nausea, vomiting, little
or no fever, dry skin. In these cases there may be gradual recovery,
attack of uraemia, or they may end in chronic nephritis.
Diagnosis. Examine the urine often in pregnancy, scarlet fever, etc., and
especially when watery swelling is noticed.
Recovery. The result in your children when it comes with scarlet fever is
not so good. It may run into chronic nephritis. In adults when it is due
to exposure the rule is recovery.
Treatment. The patient must be kept in bed until there is complete
recovery. He should be clothed in flannel.
Diet and Nursing. This must be of milk, water or mineral water in large
quantities; milk or buttermilk should be the main article of food. You can
give gruels made of arrowroot or oatmeal, barley water, beef tea and
chicken broth. But it is better to stick strictly to milk. As the patient
gets better, bread and butter, lettuce, watercress, grapes, oranges, and
other fruits may be given. The return to a meat diet should be gradual.
The patient should drink freely of mineral waters, ordinary water or
lemonade, these keep the kidneys flushed and wash out the "debris" from
the tubes. One dram of cream of tartar in a pint of boiling water, add the
juice of half a lemon and a little sugar; this when taken cold is a
pleasant satisfactory diluting drink. Cream of tartar one dram, juice of
lemon, sugar sufficient, water one pint, may be given whenever desired.
There should be hot water baths daily or oftener; or you can produce
sweating by placing hot water jars around the patient, and watch to see
whether it is too weakening. It can also be done by introducing steam
underneath the bedding, that is then lifted a little, so that the steam
vapor can circulate about the patient. Be careful not to burn the patient
with the hot steam. This, of course, is done through a hose attached to a
steaming kettle. Also see treatment of dropsy under "scarlet fever."
Bowels, Attention to. They should be moved every morning by a saline
(salt) cathartic, if necessary, especially if the dropsy continues. This
produces watery stool. Cream of tartar and epsom salts, equal parts, is
good remedy; one-half teaspoonful every three hours for a child one year
old until the bowels move freely; one-half to one ounce can be given to an