A deodorizing substance which shall be at once efficient, safe, devoid of irritating and noxious properties, and itself free from odor, is a great desideratum in the sick-room. It is of great importance to the attendants upon the sick that the atmosphere of the apartment should be freed as much as possible from the foul odors that arise from morbid secretions or exhalations in cases of fever, of cancer, of urinary diseases, and of colliquative diarrhea. These odors, if not specifically morbific, are at least nauseating and eminently disgusting. And it can hardly be doubted that their effect on the patient is very deleterious.
The various deodorizing substances hitherto in general use are liable to serious objections. The Chloride of Lime (so-called) has itself an odor very offensive to many persons, and extremely irritating to a sensitive pulmonary apparatus, or to eyes predisposed to strumous inflammation. The Nitrate of Lead gives off gasses which are peculiarly irritating to the eyes and throat, while the solution of this substance is very objectionable in domestic use, from its corrosive properties. The Chloride of Zinc is liable to similar objections, and all of these substances interfere very decidedly with the action of our remedies.
In the British Journal of Homoeopathy for April, 1859, Mr. Evan Fraser, M. R. C. S., calls attention to the Chlorate of Potassa as a deodorizing agent, free from all the objections which obtain against the above named substances. Mr. Fraser in addition recommends it as an application to cancerous and ill-conditioned ulcers. As a topical application I have no experience in its use and I should hesitate so to employ it while unacquainted with its pathogenetic action, but as a deodorizing substance for use in the sick chamber I have had satisfactory experience of its admirable efficacy, and I have as yet seen no reason to believe that its presence in the room is in any way injurious to the patient, or that it interfers in any way with the action of our remedies. My habit has been to dissolve a half ounce of the Chlorate of Potassa in a gallon of water, and to cause towels saturated with this solution to be hung in various parts of the chamber or swung gently to and fro, whenever an unpleasant odor is perceived. By this means, in a few moments the most offensive odor is entirely removed.
|The AMERICAN HOMOEOPATHIC REVIEW Vol. 01 No. 11, 1859, pages 516-517
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