Infectious Disease Nursing

My mother was an infectious disease nurse just prior to and during World War 2 in England.  I have talked to her quite a bit about this and was surprised at how effective their methods were.  While the cures were not up to modern standards, they were very good at preventing the spread of the diseases once they were identified.

I have one of her old nursing books dated 1940, that covers how to treat a infected patient at home.  This was used for disease like scarlet fever, diphtheria, whooping cough, typhus, smallpox, polio and tuberculosis.  She nursed all of the above without getting sick.  The methods they used may seem a bit on the extreme side to us with modern medicine, but remember they had no antibiotics.

Some of the terminology is a little old, so you may have to study it a little.  Phenol is probably the oldest known disinfectant, when it was called carbolic acid.  This is also poisonous if taken internally and at full strength can cause skin burns.  If you intend to use carbolic acid learn about it first, because it can be dangerous.  I will post more from the old books soon.

Hope you never have to use these.infectious diseases

Howard

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2 Responses to Infectious Disease Nursing

  1. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    Well between this and having just watched Contagion I’ve bout scrubbed off all my skin LOL. Good stuff!

  2. Art says:

    Very interesting article from the old medical book. Looked up permanganate of potash listed under “The Nurse” in the article which is now called Potassium permanganate. It has lots of uses including fire starting, disinfecting and purifying water. Do a google search you will be surprised at all the information available. Here is a link to some of the medical uses
    http://www.ehow.com/how_5640582_use-potassium-permanganate-water-treatment.html#ixzz1Mpibj9wx
    Thanks for posting this article, look forward to seeing some more articles from the old book.

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