[p. 167]osities, and which are devoid of flesh, such as the ankles or fingers, we must guard from the splints which are placed over them, either by position, or by their shortness. They are to be secured by the strings in such a manner as not to occasion pressure at first. A soft, consistent, and clean cerate should be rubbed into the folds of the bandage.
As to the temperature and quantity of the water used, its heat should be just such as the hand can bear, and it ought to be known that a large quantity is best for producing relaxation and attenuation, whereas a moderate quantity is best for incarnating and softening. The limit to the affusion is, to stop when the parts become swelled up, and before the swelling subsides; for the parts swell up at first, and fall afterward.
The object on which to (the limb?) is laid should be soft, smooth, and sloping upwards toward the protuberant parts of the body, such as the heel or hips, so that there may be no projection, nor bending inwards, nor turning aside. The canal (spout or gutter?) should rather comprehend the whole limb than the half of it, attention being paid to the injury and to whatever else appears to create inconvenience.
The presentation of the injured part to the physician, the extension, the arrangement, and so forth, are to be regulated according to nature. What is nature in these operations is to be determined by the accomplishment of the object which we have in view, and for this purpose we must look to the part in the state of rest, in its middle state, and to habit; in regard to the state of rest and relaxation, as in the arm, that it be in a line with the hand; and with regard to the medium between flexion and extension, that the forearm be at right angles to the arm; and with regard to habit, it should be considered that some limbs bear certain positions preferably, as, for example, the thighs extension; for in such attitudes the parts can best bear to be placed for a considerable time without a change of posture. And in the change from the state of distention, the muscles, veins, nerves, and bones, when properly arranged and secured, will preserve their relations to one another while the limb is raised or placed.