VOLATILE OILS, VOLATILE.
VOLVULUS.--See INTESTINES, DISEASES OF.
VOMITING.—The act of ejecting, through the mouth, matter which has been regurgitated from the stomach. It consists in the sudden violent reversal of the normal act of swallowing and of the movements of the stomach. Vomiting may result from a vast variety of causes, some of which (as the smell of putrid flesh) are very slight ; while others may be indicative of severe injury to the centres of vomiting in the brain or medulla. Among nervous causes of vomiting may be mentioned : Thoughts and ideas (disgust), certain motions (seasickness), and affections of remote organs (the uterus, for instance) which, by reflex action, influence the centre of vomiting.
Vomiting is frequently the result of the body's own efforts to rid the stomach of harmful substances. In such a case it is advisable to aid nature by promoting the act. Frequently, however, vomiting persists for a long time without being beneficial to the body. The nervous vomiting of hysterical persons, and of pregnant women, may be so persistent and tormenting as to cause the patients grave loss of strength.
Simple remedies may often stop vomiting. Sucking small pieces of ice, for instance, is frequently efficacious. The application of an ice-bag to the region of the stomach serves the same end. Fasting' for some time is likewise of service. A simple treatment for nervous vomiting consists in manipulation of the hyoid bone, according to Nageli's method.
The hyoid bone, a delicate U-shaped bone, is situated above the larynx in the fold of the throat, at the base of the tongue. By passing the tips of
both thumbs upward, one on each side of the larynx, the large horns of the hyoid will be felt at the junction of chin and throat. A few swinging move ments will prove that the fingers actually grasp the hyoid bone. The manipulation is performed by grasping below the hyoid bone—either at the lateral horns or along the centre—and then gently, but vigorously, pushing the head upward. Pressure backward, toward the vertebral column, must be carefully avoided. The manipulation should preferably be made from hind, as shown in Fig. 435 ; and the middle fingers and ring-fingers may suitably be used for raising the bone.
The person performing the manipulation should keep the head in the raised position for from 6o to go seconds (by the watch) without yielding. He should vigorously oppose any retching movements, and should wait until the patient declares that his tendency to vomit has disappeared. The manipulation may be repeated as often as necessary. If correctly done, it is the safest and surest remedy for all forms of nausea, especially for the vomiting of hysteria and of pregnancy, as well as for vomiting following the administra tion of chloroform. 1 t is efficacious also in abdominal inflammations. In fact, it may serve to restrict excessive vomiting even in incurable affections.