There was at one time a method adopted for the treatment of fistulous abscesses, which I have not seen mentioned for many years, and which was of such excellent service that its use should be revived, especially in carbuncles. A sponge large enough to cover all the openings was thoroughly boiled in an antiseptic solution and deprived of any foreign or irritating particles. It was then compressed under a heavy weight and dried, its antiseptic and aseptic properties being preserved. A piece of gauze was then spread over the inflamed part and the compressed sponge was applied over the gauze and bound firmly against the parts. It was then saturated with a little warm water sterilized. The power of this expanding sponge to absorb the contents of abscesses and to thoroughly evacuate all cavities is but little short of marvelous. The sponge is removed after a few hours and destroyed, the parts are thoroughly cleansed, and if necessary another sponge prepared in the same manner, is applied.
With the present advance of surgical methods it is seldom that we find the very extreme cases of abscess that were known thirty years ago. Occasionally, however, a carbuncle or a chronic indurated and fistulated breast will be found among the ignorant poor, for which surgical measures are now commonly advised, where this measure will be found in every way satisfactory.
"Let us think, then, of the end point of this drama. Since none can foresee just where the tread on the life-line will falter, let us accept that it matters little whether in the morning or the evening it be that we take the awful plunge. Today, never tomorrow, loosens our hold of earthly problems."—JOHN URI LLOYD, in "Stringtown On The Pike."
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.