If you should find a person lying in a stupor or quite unconscious, seek the cause, before treating him, or you may do more harm than good. If ft be a case of drowning or freezing, you will know at once. Sunstroke is marked by a hot, dry skin. Bleeding, bruises, and swelling speak for themselves. If, however, there are none of these symptoms, examine the patient with care.
Observe, first, whether the face is pale or flushed. If pale, and the pupils of the eyes are natural, it is a simple case of fainting; if the pupils are dilated, the face pale, with cold sweat, the pulse weak and quick, probably there has been concussion of the brain.
On the other hand, a flushed and turgid face, respiration snoring, a slow and full pulse, are symptoms common to apoplexy, drunkenness, and opium poisoning. It is very important to distinguish between these. Odor of liquor in the breath is not conclusive; for a person struck down by apoplexy may have been drinking. A drunken man may have fallen and suffered concussion of the brain, thus complicating the case.
In apoplexy due to hemorrhage in the brain, one side of the patient generally is paralyzed. He cannot be aroused, even with ammonia to the nose. His eyeballs are not sensitive to touch. A man drunk or "doped" generally can be aroused for a moment by dashing cold water in his face. A bottle of liquor, laudanum, or morphine, is likely to be found on or near him. In alcoholic poisoning the pupils are dilated and equal; in opium poisoning, they are extremely contracted.