Healthful Living


Hygiene of the Sick-Room

646. When we do all we can on our part to have health, then may we expect that blessed results will follow, and we can ask God in faith to bless our efforts for the preservation of health.—How to Live 4:64. HL 155.4

647. Thousands have died for want of pure water and pure air, who might have lived.... These blessings they need in order to become well. If they would become enlightened, and let medicine alone, and accustom themselves to outdoor exercise, and to air in their houses, summer and winter, and use soft water for drinking and bathing purposes, they would be comparatively well and happy instead of dragging out a miserable existence.—How to Live 4:56. HL 155.5

648. If those who are well need the blessing of light and air, and need to observe habits of cleanliness in order to remain well, the sick are in still greater need of them in proportion to their debilitated condition.—How to Live 4:60. HL 156.1


649. It is also of the greatest importance that the sick-room, from the first, be properly ventilated. This will be beneficial to the afflicted, and highly necessary to keep those well who are compelled to remain a length of time in the sick-room.—How to Live 4:54. HL 156.2

650. There is a lamentable catalogue of evils which have their origin in the sick-room, from which the pure air of heaven is excluded. All who breathe this poisonous atmosphere violate the laws of their being, and must suffer the penalty.—How to Live 4:58. HL 156.3

651. Every breath of vital air in the sick-room is of the greatest value, although many of the sick are very ignorant on this point. They feel very much depressed, and do not know what the matter is. A draught of pure air through their room would have a happy, invigorating influence upon them.... The sick-room, if possible, should have a draught of air through it day and night. The draught should not come directly upon the invalid.—How to Live 4:59. HL 156.4

652. In pleasant weather the sick in no case should be deprived of a full supply of fresh air.... Fresh air will prove more beneficial to the sick than medicine, and is far more essential to them than their food. They will do better and recover sooner deprived of food than of fresh air.... Their rooms may not always be so constructed as to allow the windows or doors to open in their rooms without the draughts coming directly upon them, and exposing them to take cold. In such cases windows and doors should be opened in an adjoining room, and thus let the fresh air enter the room occupied by the sick.—How to Live 4:55. HL 157.1

653. If no other way can be devised, the sick, if possible, should be removed to another room and another bed, while the sick-room, the bed and bedding, are being purified by ventilation.—How to Live 4:60. HL 157.2


654. It is of great value to the sick to have an even temperature in the room. This cannot always be correctly determined, if left to the judgment of the attendants, for they may not be the best judges of a right temperature. Some persons require more heat than others, and would be only comfortable in a room which to another would be uncomfortably warm. If each of these is at liberty to arrange the fires to suit her ideas of proper heat, the atmosphere in the sick-room will be anything but regular.... The friends of the sick, or attendants, who through anxiety and watching are deprived of sleep, and who are suddenly awakened in the night from sleep to attend in the sick-room, are liable to chilliness. Such are not correct thermometers of the healthful temperature of a sick-room. These things may appear of small account, but they have very much to do with the recovery of the sick. In many instances life has been imperiled by extreme changes of the temperature of the sick-room.—How to Live 4:54, 55. HL 157.3

655. While burning fevers are raging, there is but little danger of taking cold. But especial care is needful when the crisis comes, and fever is passing away. Then constant watching may be necessary to keep vitality in the system—How to Live 4:60. HL 158.1

656. The heated, oppressed atmosphere, deprived of vitality, benumbs the sensitive brain.—Testimonies for the Church 1:702. HL 158.2


657. If fevers enter a family, often more than one have the same fever. This need not be if the habits of the family are correct. If their diet is as it should be, and they observe habits of cleanliness and realize the necessity of ventilation, the fever need not extend to another member of the family. The reason that fevers prevail in families and expose the attendants, is because the sick-room is not kept free from poisonous infection, by cleanliness and proper ventilation.—How to Live 4:57. HL 158.3

658. Many suffer decayed vegetable matter to remain about their premises. They are not awake to the influence of these things. There is constantly arising from these decaying substances an effluvium that is poisoning the air; by inhaling the impure air, the blood is poisoned, the lungs become affected, and the whole system is diseased. Disease of almost every description will be caused by inhaling the atmosphere affected by these decaying substances.—How to Live 4:61. HL 158.4


659. All unnecessary noise and excitement should be avoided in the sick-room, and the whole house should be kept as quiet as possible. Ignorance, forgetfulness, and recklessness have caused the death of many who might have lived had they received proper care from judicious, thoughtful attendants. The doors should be opened and shut with great care, and the attendants should be unhurried, calm, and self-possessed.—How to Live 4:59. HL 159.1

660. Much harm has resulted to the sick from the universal custom of having watchers at night. In critical cases this may be necessary; but it is often the case that more harm than good is done the sick by this practise.... Even one watcher will make more or less stir, which disturbs the sick. But where there are two, they often converse together, sometimes aloud, but more frequently in whispered tones, which is far more trying and exciting to the nerves of the sick than talking aloud.... Attendants upon the sick should, if possible, leave them to quiet and rest through the night, while they occupy a room adjoining.... The sick as a general thing are taxed with too many visitors and callers, who chat with them, and weary them by introducing different topics of conversation, when they need quiet and undisturbed rest.... It is a mistaken kindness that leads so many, out of courtesy, to visit the sick. Often have they spent a sleepless, suffering night after receiving visitors. They have been more or less excited, and the reaction has been too great for their already debilitated energies, and as the result of these fashionable calls, they have been brought into very dangerous conditions, and lives have been sacrificed for the want of thoughtful prudence.... In very many instances these fashionable calls have turned the scale when the invalid was recovering, and the balance has borne them down to death. Those who cannot make themselves useful should be cautious in regard to visiting the sick.—How to Live 4:58. HL 159.2