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Impotence is not unfrequently found to be accompanied by anæsthesia of the genitals, and to be removed by cutaneous faradization. In those cases in which it is due to seminal emissions, and prior treatment has been of no avail faradization should be given a trial. Introduce the urethral rheophore to the verumontanum, and apply a second rheophore (a well-wetted sponge in a cylinder) to the perineum. Use a low power, and with the pedal rheotome regulate the intermissions at about the rate of two to a second. When the emissions are better pass a mild and slowly intermitting current through the testicles, applying a well-wetted conductor on each side of them.
Obstinate paraplegic constipation is often relieved by faradization of the abdominal muscles. When it results from paralysis of the rectum, act directly upon it as described at page 88. In intussusception introduce the rectal rheophore and apply about once in a second (regulated by the pedal rheotome) an intense faradic current upon each point of the abdominal walls. Several successful cases that had resisted all prior treatment are on record. Prolapsus ani from atony of the sphincter may not unfrequently be removed by faradization.
Electrolysis.-In certain cases in which a tumor rapidly increasing may threaten life, and where from its position, or for other reasons, a surgical operation is inadmissible, the catalytic or resorbent action of the continuous voltaic current may be of benefit. In preference to the insertion of needles, mould a very thin sheet of copper, hardly thicker than paper, to the entire surface of the tumor. Cover this copper with a flannel and fix it by a binding screw to the conductor from the negative pole of the battery. Before use, soak the flannel well in a saturated solution of salt in water, and when applied to the tumor, place the positive pole with a wellwetted sponge as near as possible to it, and allow a current as strong as the patient can bear without pain to pass for from twenty minutes to an hour daily, or every second day. The same treatment is occasionally useful in ganglionic tumors · and in chronic articular affections with nodosities, which have not been benefited by prior treatment. If needles are used, introduce two or three, or even four, of steel gilt, into the most prominent part of the tumor to a depth of two or three inches, and connect them with the negative pole of about ten cells. Apply the positive pole as already directed.
Contra-indications to the use of Electricity.-In actual softening of brain or spinal cord ; in active or severe inflammations or congestions, whether central or peripheral; in great exaltation of reflex action, after recent paralytic seizures, and in those conditions generally in which active medication is contra-indicated, electricity, except as a mild continuous voltaic current, should not be employed.
In the foregoing pages I have endeavored—assuredly not to exhaust my subject—but, eschewing debatable ground, to indicate the prominent landmarks in the wide and unexhausted field of electrotherapeutics. My object will have been answered if I have succeeded in clearly describing the different modes of applying electricity, and the apparatus by which the application is best made; also in specifying those cases in which the use of some one or other of the different varieties of electricity is imperatively demanded; and those cases again where—other remedies having been tried and failed—we may hopefully resort to this agent, and in which it were surely a neglect of duty to let the disease run on without giving the patient the benefit of its thorough trial.
In conclusion I would state that the medical practitioner who prescribes electricity, should either administer it himself, or cause it to be administered by a skilled operator. The experience of the National Hospital for the Paralyzed and Epileptic, and my own experience in private practice, show conclusively that when patients themselves apply electricity, the result has been very unsatisfactory.
The most explicit directions will often be misunderstood, or fail in being correctly carried out, the treatment getting undeserved discredit. The rule of practice here laid down is particularly applicable to the localized application of electricity.
Accessories of electrical apparatus, Contra-indications to use of electri-
Cord, conducting, 59.
spinal, electrization of, 110.
interrupted voltaic, 66.
Diagnosis between real and feigned
electricity as an aid to, 94.
of lead palsy from paralysis of
radial nerve, 98.
of peripheral from central dis-
Direction of current, 95.
Direct muscular electrization, 62.
Disuse, loss of irritability from, 96.
Duchenne's large uncovered instru-
large volta-faradic instrument,
small volta-faradic instrument,
pedal commutator, 40.
Electric irritability, see Irritability.
contra-indications to the use
effects of, upon nutrition, 100.
effects upon the secretions, 101.
importance of skilful adminis-
tration of, 60.
Electricity, limitation of use of, as| Faradization in “late rigidity,”139.
in local paralysis, 149.
in locomotor ataxy, 153.
in neuralgia, 111.
in paralysis of muscles of eye,
in paraplegia, 141
in reflex contraction, 148.
in tonic contractions, 145.
in torticollis, 145.
in traumatic paralysis, 120.
in wasting palsy, 142.
in writer's cramp, 144.
Farado-contractility, mode of test-
Franklinism, apparatus required in,
in emotional aphonia, 105.
in facial neuralgia, 104.
in facial spasm, 104.
in localized excessive sensi-
in tremor, 106.
Galvanism, meaning of term, 19.
Galvanization, see Voltaization.
Gower's, Dr., pedal commutator,
Hand, electric, 87.
late rigidity in, 139.
Hysterical anesthesia, 148.
hyperästhesia, 116, 149.