Mystery Gadget 108

This is not an iron lung machine. So then, what's going on?

The answer is here.

Or after the jump.

Fever machine used to kill germs, Wash. D.C. Bennie Smith, an arthritis patient, receives treatment at Gallinger Municipal Hospital in the fever machine used to raise temperatures artificially. With his temperature at 105 he grins and asks for more ice. Nurse-technician Ida Louise Rivers is counting his pulse while Dr. Edgar Babcock, superintendent, observes reactions. The artificial fever has been of definite benefit to this patient, the doctor said. It is also believed that this artificial fever will kill other germs, including those causing paresis.
     Posted By: Paul - Thu Jan 18, 2024
     Category: Technology | Twentieth Century

I prefer the less-technical version: alcohol kills germs (those old enough will remember thermometers sitting in alcohol in every exam room). You can't get your blood alcohol high enough to kill all the germs at once, but getting it as high as you can and keeping it there for forty-eight to seventy-two hours will get most of them. If nothing else, it makes being sick a lot more fun.
Posted by Phideaux on 01/18/24 at 02:21 PM
The picture's from 1935, before antibiotics, so there was no effective way to stop bacterial infections.
Posted by ges on 01/18/24 at 03:42 PM
Nowadays, with the antibiotic-resistent super-bacteria, some doctors might be tempted to dust the ol'fever machine. Maybe with a tall glass of cranberry juice, another anti-bacterial agent used against super-bacteria.
Posted by Yudith on 01/20/24 at 08:11 AM
"Fun" fact: before penicillin, they used to infect syphilis patients with malaria. The fever killed some of the patients, but it killed even more of the syphilis germs.
Posted by Richard Bos on 01/20/24 at 08:41 AM

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