The Review and Herald


December 5, 1899

Disease and Its Causes

Impure Air


When severe sickness enters a family, there is great need of each member's giving strict attention to personal cleanliness, and diet, to preserve himself in a healthful condition, thus fortifying himself against disease. It is also of the greatest importance that the sick-room, from the first, be properly ventilated. This is beneficial to the afflicted, and highly necessary to keep those well who are compelled to remain a length of time in the sick-room. RH December 5, 1899, par. 1

It is of great value to the sick to have an even temperature in the room. This can not always be correctly determined if left to the judgment of attendants; for they may not be the best judges of a right temperature. Some persons require more heat than others do, and would be only comfortable in a room which to another would be uncomfortably warm. And if each attendant is at liberty to arrange the fires to suit his idea of proper heat, the temperature in the sick-room will be anything but regular. Sometimes it will be distressingly warm for the patient; at another time too cold, which will have a most injurious effect upon him. The friends or attendants of the sick, who, through anxiety and watching, are deprived of sleep, and are suddenly awakened in the night 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. RH December 5, 1899, par. 2

In no case should sick persons be deprived of a full supply of fresh air in pleasant weather. Their rooms may not always be so constructed as to allow the windows or doors to be opened without the draft coming directly upon them, thus exposing them to the taking of cold. In such cases windows and doors should be opened in an adjoining room, thus letting fresh air enter the room occupied by the sick. Fresh air will prove far more beneficial to sick persons than medicine, and is far more essential to them than their food. They will do better and will recover sooner when deprived of food than when deprived of fresh air. RH December 5, 1899, par. 3

Many invalids have been confined for weeks and even for months in close rooms, with the light, and the pure, invigorating air of heaven shut out as if air were a deadly enemy, when it was just the medicine they needed to make them well. The whole system was debilitated and diseased for want of air, and nature sank under her load of accumulating impurities, in addition to the fashionable poisons administered by physicians, until she was overpowered, and broke down in her efforts, and death was the result. These persons might have lived. Heaven willed not their death. They died, victims to their own ignorance and the deception of physicians, who gave them fashionable poisons, and would not allow them pure water to drink, and fresh air to breathe, to invigorate the vital organs, purify the blood, and help nature in her task in overcoming the bad conditions of the system. These valuable remedies which Heaven has provided, without money and without price, were cast aside, and considered not only as worthless, but even as dangerous enemies, while poisons, prescribed by physicians, were in blind confidence taken. RH December 5, 1899, par. 4

Thousands have died for want of pure water and pure air, who might have lived. And thousands of invalids, who are a burden to themselves and others, think that their lives depend upon taking medicines from the doctors. They are continually guarding themselves against the air, and avoiding the use of water. 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. RH December 5, 1899, par. 5

It is the duty of attendants and nurses to take special care of their own health, especially in critical cases of fever and consumption. One person should not be kept closely confined to the sick-room. It is safer to have two or three to depend upon, who are careful and understanding nurses, these changing and sharing the care and confinement of the sick-room. Each should have exercise in the open air as often as possible. This is important to sick-bed attendants, especially if the friends of the sick are among the class that continue to regard air, if admitted into the sick-room, as an enemy, and will not allow the windows raised, or the doors opened. In such cases the sick and the attendants are compelled to breathe the poisonous atmosphere from day to day, because of the inexcusable ignorance of the friends of the sick. RH December 5, 1899, par. 6

In very many cases the attendants are ignorant of the needs of the system, and of the relation that the breathing of fresh air sustains to health, and of the life-destroying influence of inhaling the impure air of a sick-room. In this case the life of the sick is endangered, and the attendants themselves are liable to take on disease, and lose health, and perhaps life. RH December 5, 1899, par. 7

If fevers enter a family, often more than one has the same disease. 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 of fevers prevailing in families, and exposing the attendants, is because the sick-room is not kept free from poisonous infection, by cleanliness and proper ventilation. RH December 5, 1899, par. 8

If attendants are awake to the subject of health, and realize the necessity of ventilation for their own benefit as well as for the benefit of the patient, and the relatives as well as the sick oppose the admission of air and light into the sick-room, the attendants should have no scruples of conscience in leaving the sick-room. They should feel themselves released from their obligations to the sick. It is not the duty of one or more to risk the liability of incurring disease, thus endangering their lives, by breathing a poisonous atmosphere. If the sick will fall a victim to his own erroneous ideas, and will shut out of the room the most essential of heaven's blessings, let him do so, but not at the peril of those who ought to live. RH December 5, 1899, par. 9

The mother, from a sense of duty, has left her family, to administer in the sick-room, where pure air was not allowed to enter, and has become sick by inhaling the diseased atmosphere, which affected her whole system. After a period of much suffering, she has died, leaving her children motherless. The sick, who shared the sympathy and unselfish care of this mother, recovered; but neither the sick nor the friends of the sick, understood that precious life was sacrificed because of their ignorance of the relation that pure air sustains to health. Neither did they feel any responsibility in regard to the stricken flock left without the tender mother's care. RH December 5, 1899, par. 10

Mothers sometimes permit their daughters to take care of the sick in illy ventilated rooms, and as a result, have had to nurse them through a period of sickness. And because of the mother's anxiety and care for her child, she has been made sick, and frequently one or both have died, or been left with broken constitutions, or made suffering invalids for life. There is a lamentable catalogue of evils that 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. RH December 5, 1899, par. 11