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Debility

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DEBILITY.

The College authorities define the technical application of the term debility as intending to express an " uniform exhaustion of all the organs of the body without specific disease." The defini tion is, perhaps, as complete as can be supplied in our present state of knowledge, and many deaths are registered every year in this and other countries as from debility. The term is more commonly used to express the intermediate condition between an attack of acute or exhausting disease and the return to the natural state. Debility is sometimes defined as asthenia.

Comma.

Literally a profound or deep sleep. A condition of disease in which the body lies unconscious, insensible to all external impres sions, and incapable of being roused from the torpor.

Asphyxia.

Suffocation. A condition in which the respiration is checked, — as during strangulation, and the body is rendered cold and dark from obstructed aeration of the blood. By asphyxia, coma, asthenia, or syncope, death ordinarily supervenes.

Natural or Senile Decay.

Natural or senile decay is that condition in which the bodily powers pass into helplessness and the mental powers into second childishness and mere oblivion. The condition is one in which the elastic structures of all the organs of the body have lost much of their resilience; the muscular structures have shrunken; the cartilages have been transformed into bone; the bones have be come condensed; the skin has shrivelled and become dry; the hair has become gray or has fallen off; the gums have atrophied; the teeth have fallen out or decayed; and the cells of the nervous system, locked up, as it were, in the now firm connective tissue, or nerve-cement, are all but dead to motion. In this state death at last takes place as in a sleep, the one only natural mode of dis solution.

condition, body and natural