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Congestion and Anaemia of the Brain

blood, head, suddenly, symptoms, apoplexy, arise and pulse


Congestion or excess of blood to the brain may arise because too much blood comes to the brain, or it may be because, owing to some ob stacle, the blood is not permitted to return from the brain with due rapidity and ease. Thus wear ing tight things round the neck will hinder the return of blood. Congestion is likely to occur in florid, full-blooded people, given to high living without sufficient exercise to work it off Constant tippling is very likely to produce it. It may also arise from disease of other organs, especially the liver, heart, and kidneys.

The symptoms are a sense of fulness and tightness of the head, flushing of the face, noises in the ears, motes dancing before the eyes, head ache, giddiness, sickness, dulness, &c. Even unconsciousness may be produced and convul sions. The symptoms indeed may go on till the condition of apoplexy is produced, when the patient becomes drowsy, and filially falls into complete stupor.

Apoplexy may thus be gradually produced of it may arise suddenly, the person falling down powerless and unconscious. When the full apoplectic condition is developed, whether after warning symptoms, like those mentioned above or suddenly, the person lies totally or partially unconscious, with flaccid muscles, face probably flushed, noisy breathing, pupils of eyes large and pulse generally full and strong and slower than natural. The motions are often passed in voluntarily and urine retained. Sometimes tin apoplexy comes on suddenly with paralysis or one side, and then passes on to unconsciousnes: --coma. In such a case probably blood ha: passed out of the vessels into the substance o the brain owing to the bursting of a vessel. Thil is cerebral haemorrhage.

Treatment.—Wherever symptoms like those lescribed under CONGESTION are present the )erson should guard against excitement, heavy Ileitis, and drinking habits. He should wear nose clothing, and live in a well-ventilated, cool oom. He should take moderate daily exercise, trid sleep on a mattress with his head high. For medicine he should take some active purga tive such as salts, seidlitz, and specially one to tct on the liver like podophyllin (I-grain doses).

These might be taken occasionally, and always when headache threatens. The daily morning use of a mineral water like Hunyadi Janos would be beneficial. When a person has been seized with an apoplectic fit la, should be placed on a firm bed, with head high, in a cool room ; his clothing should be loosed, and cold applied to his head either by cold-water cloths, or by ice pounded and put in a bladder on the head. An injection of castor-oil and turpentine, or of salt and water (see ENEMA), should be given. Whether bleeding would be beneficial or not depends on circumstances, and should be deter mined only by a doctor. If the pulse is feeble and the skin cold and clammy, it would be most hurtful. If recovery takes place give light diet, milk, fish, &c., and let the bowels be kept open.

Anaemia of Brain, or deficient quantity of blood, is the opposite condition to congestion. It may depend on general amemia (see under DISEASES OF TIIE BLOOD, p. 313) due to loss of blood or other causes, or may come on suddenly owing to arrest of the heart's action or to burst ing of some vessels in the brain.

The symptoms vary considerably. Gener ally they are not unlike those of congestion— headache, constipation, noises in the head, and so on. Insensibility may arise and frequently convulsions. The pale skin, small thready pulse, and sighing breathing will offer a contrast to the flushed face, full pulse, and noisy breathing of apoplexy, and will help to distinguish be tween the two.

The treatment depends on the cause. If there be loss of blood, that must be stopped. Good nourishing food must be given with mode rate quantities of wine. Tonic medicines, espe cially iron and quinine, arid cod-liver oil, are necessary. At the time of attack small quan tities of brandy will aid recovery.

Sunstroke is an affection attended by en gorgement of the blood-vessels of the brain, in which the person who has been exposed to high temperature is suddenly seized with un.

consciousness. It is described in the part on ACCIDENTS and EMERGENCIES.