It is inadvisable to explore for a suspected abscess with a hollow needle without first opening the abdomen, as septic fluid might thus be enabled to leak out, and infect the general peritoneal cavity.
Formerly used in every fever, and even in the septic states that constantly followed surgical operations in the pre-Listerian epoch, aconite is now employed only in the earliest stage of the less serious fevers, such as acute tonsilitis, bronchitis and, notably, laryngitis.
The Gall-bladder may be ruptured by external violence, and if bile escapes from the rent in considerable quantities peritonitis will be set up, whether the bile contains septic germs or not.
But when the hepatitis is of septic origin, suppuration is likely to occur, the result being an hepatic abscess.
Of the dry antiseptics iodoform is constantly used in septic or tuberculous wounds, and it appears to have an inhibitory action on Bacillus tuberculosis.
If the injury be a small incised wound through the skin and subcutaneous tissues without any septic contamination, there usually follows a minimum of reaction on the part of the tissues.
When a special poison has entered the wound at the time of its infliction or at some subsequent date, it is necessary to provide against septic conditions of the wound itself and blood-poisoning of the general circulation.
In other cases gall-stones set up irritation in the gall-bladder which runs on to inflammation, and the gall-bladder being infected by septic germs from the intestine (bacilli coli) an abscess forms.
When, for instance, the cause of septic infection had been revealed, the prophylaxis of the disease became a possibility.
But it undoubtedly prolongs life, lessens suffering, and by checking the growth of bacteria upon the cancer reduces the fetid odour and the symptoms of septic intoxication.