Page 6, 29th January 1954

29th January 1954
Page 6
Page 6, 29th January 1954 — Looking after a Patient

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Organisations: Society of Floristry
People: Constance Spry


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Looking after a Patient

WE don't like to be pessimistic and expect illness at this time of the year, but it is now that people are more likely to be abed a day or two with some trouble or other. So perhaps it

would not come amiss to concentrate for a moment on the sick room.

A sick room should not only be clean, but quiet and have a minimum of furniture. The floor should be cleaned every day, either hoovered. brushed orwashed with a light dis

ioWater in the (lower vases should be

changed every day—and the flowers should never be allowed to remain in the sick room overnight.

There are one or two appliances to help a patient who has to stay in bed for a considerable time, such as a hack rest or an air ring to prevent

bed sores, which can also be avoided

by keeping the patient's bed free

from crumbs and wrinkles, and by

massaging the patient's back occasionally.

The temperature of the room should be 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The bed, of course, should not be placed between the window and the door. Fresh air is needed but a draft is dangerous.

Temperature NOW for the patient. The normal temperature of a healthy person is 98.4 degrees Fahrenheit. But there is no cause for anxiety if the temperature is only 97 degrees Fahrenheit. Concern should begin when the temperature goes above normal. Everyone, child or adult, should be put to bed and kept quiet if they have a temperature.

The usual method of taking an adult's temperature is in the mouth, under the tongue, with the lips closed.

Thermometers vary as to the length of time they take to register, but most of the modern ones take a half to two minutes to show accurate results.

A temperature should never be taken after a hot drink. The best times are on waking in the morning and at 6 p.m.

With small children, or when a patient cannot breathe through his nose, the temperature may he taken by placing the thermometer under the arm, or auxilla, care being taken that no clothing intervenes between the instrument and the skin.

In very young children and infants it is sometimes placed in the groin or the rectum : a special rectal thermometer, slightly thicker and larger than the normal one, is used.

A record of the temperature will help the doctor more than anything else to know how the patient is faring.

The thermometer should be washed after use, shaken down and either replaced in its case or placed in a mild antiseptic solution, mercury downwards. A small medicine glass is an ideal container. A piece .of cottonwool at the botiont will avoid damaging the thermOlineter.

Report for doctor .TiTHE normal.pulse rate of a person n in health is 72 beats a minute. The pulse is usually taken at the wrist, but some people have difficulty in finding the correct spot. The fingers should be used in taking a patient's pulse, not the thumb because this has its own pulsations--which would mean you would be taking your own pulse rate instead of the patient's, Laboured or abnormal breathing should be reported to the doctor. A daily action of the bowels is also

essential. And in many illnesses a

doctor will require a specimen of the

patient's urine. Make sure the bottle

you use (and it need not be large) is clean and well marked with the name and address of the patient clearly written on iL Back to meals THE old saying "Feed a cold and starve a fever" is still probably as good an axiom as it ever was.

After sickness, nobody feels much like eating; the food then should he carefully and tastefully prepared. The tray should look attractive, the food appetising. Do not give the patient large helpings of anything.

A general rule is—after a fluid diet (that is, nearly all drinks), the patient may go on to fish, then eggs, milk and finally a little meat.

Give medicines regularly. Follow the instructions on the bottle—and this is one of the few cases when bribery is permitted. "Drink it up. darling, and then you can have a sweet!"

'Paintbox' flowers DON'T be afraid to use vegetables and fruit to complete the picture so long as they help the design and colour scheme, said Constance Spry. Speaking recently to the Society of Floristry.

Choose vegetable leaves which have something in common with the flowers accompanying them (a glowin^ picture of poppies and globe a; _Stoke leaves underlined this point).

Expensive blooms arc not a "must" to create a good effect, but when arranging mixed garden flowers in one container, group those of the same colour together for the most pleasing result.

Cut garden lilac will last up to a week if branches are well hammered and stood in deep water for 12 hours, and stripped of all leaves before arranging. Replace the foliage separately in the vase.

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