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discharged, the stools being scanty and deficient in bile. On the seventh day symptoms of acute hepatitis presented themselves. In addition to topical bleeding, small doses of calomel and soda were frequently administered, his system showing no symptoms of mercurial influence, to which when in health he was morbidly susceptible. In eighteen hours he was jaundiced. The mer. cury was discontinued, and diuretics and diluents substituted. On the twentysecond day, although he was considerably reduced, all distressing symptoms had disappeared. Dr. Mouat seems inclined to connect the attack of hepatic inflammation with the cessation of the hæmorrhoidal discharge which had taken place from the date of the accident, and of which the patient never experienced a return. The treatment adopted consisted in the first instance of leeches to the epigastrium, the administration of Murray's fluid magnesia, with ice and iced drinks. Subsequently, the abstraction of blood by cupping from the loins, the free exhibition of diluents, castor oil, opium, &c.
Dr. Mouat believes that the inhalation of minute quantities of arseniuretted hydrogen in a well ventilated room is not injurious to health. He is of opinion that this gas is disengaged from the surfaces of bodies injected with arsenious acid. Flies and insects are rapidly destroyed on alighting on them, yet persons employed in the dissection of subjects so injected, never exhibit any signs of arsenical poisoning.-Indian Annals of Medical Science, April, 1857, pp. 657–660.
Inflammation and Ulceration of the Sound Skin, produced by the application of a strong Arsenical Solution. Dr. W. N. Brown, of Melrose, has recorded the case of a farm servant who was affected with inflammation of the skin of the lower part of the abdomen, the penis, scrotum, and upper part of the thighs, running on in some places to ulceration, consequent on exposure for two hours to the action of a solution of white arsenic. He had been engaged in washing sheep in a bath composed of white arsenic dissolved in boiling water, and his trousers had become saturated with the drippings from the sheep. The skin was nowhere broken. He was engaged in the work for nearly two hours, and on going home had immediately changed his clothes. In the evening he complained of pain and smarting, and the following morning the skin was red and inflamed. He had severe burning pain, and considerable constitutional derangement. It was a fortnight before he could return to work. The solution consisted of two pounds of arsenic, and a considerable quantity of soft soap, to about fifty gallons of boiling water.-Edinburgh Medical Journal, August, 1857, pp. 148, 149.
Toricological Effects of Carbonic Acid.-M. Wanner has communicated to the Academy of Sciences a notice of some observations made with the hope of arriving at a just conclusion as to the effects of inhalation of carbonic acid gas. After killing three guinea-pigs by inhalations of carbonic acid, the author examined under the microscope a small portion of the pulmonary tissue, the mucous membrane, and the subcutaneous cellular tissue. In these different specimens the capillaries were distended, of a blackish slate.colour; the blood was of the same hue. M. Wanner asks if in these three cases death were not due to the same cause—that is to say, to the action of carbonic acid, which, brought into relation with the blood, as has been remarked by M. Lehmann, crystallizes the hæmatosine. He concludes from his experiment : lst. That the heart's actiou ceases as soon as the movement of the blood is arrested, either in the pulmonic or systemic capillaries. 2nd. That what is called asphyxia is perhaps nothing more than a more or less complete arrest of the progress of the blood by an agent which, combining with one of its constituents, renders it no longer in a condition to undergo movement. It is not, therefore, the want of air which causes death in asphyxia, but rather the non
expulsion of carbonic acid from the lungs. — Archives Générales, April, 1857, p. 242.
On the Physiological and Toxicological Properties of Woorara.-M. Pelikan has communicated to the Academy of Sciences the results of his experiments on woorara poison. With regard to its physiological effects, the author arrives at the same results as M. Cl. Bernard. As to its toxicological action, M. Pelikan finds that an aqueous solution introduced into the stomach by an elastic tube produces poisonous effects, but more slowly and less energetically. This cannot be explained on the supposition that woorara contains a certain quantity of serpent-poison, for it is characteristic of nearly all the narcotic poisons which are easily absorbable. Curarine possesses all the active properties of woorara. Five centigrammes of the alkaloid introduced under the skin of a rabbit caused death, with all the symptoms of poisoning by woorara. When woorara is absorbed in a sufficient dose to produce death, there can be no question as to the antidote. Strychnia can provoke its peculiar symptoms only in the case where the dose of woorara has been insufficient, and vice versá. Solution of woorara precipitated by tannin loses its effect in an ordinary dose, but in powder mixed with powdered tannin, and introduced into a wound, it preserves its poisonous action. The action of the poison is not destroyed by iodine dissolved in iodide of potassium, neither in the case of the two solutions mixed, evaporated, and the residue introduced into the subcutaneons tissue.- Archives Générales, April, 1857, p. 504.
Poisoning by “ Meeta Bish.”-A case of attempted suicide by a vegetable poison termed“ Meeta Bish,” is recorded by Mr. Baillie, of the Bengal Medical Service. The symptoms resembled those arising from hellebore, and some vegetable substance found in the chudder of the patient was stated by Dr. Falconer to belong to the species Veratrum. The man affirmed that he had mixed this with some other poison procured from a native vendor, and had taken them together.
The detailed symptoms were as follows:- When Mr. Baillie first saw the patient-a young man, aged about twenty-he supposed him to be in the collapse stage of cholera. He was constantly purged and incessantly vomiting; the skin was cold and clammy; that of the fingers shrivelled, and the nails of a bluish hue. The vomiting, however, differed from that of cholera in not being free, and the ejected matter consisted of a thick, tenacious mucus, with which the lips and mouth were covered, and which the patient seemed, as it were, to champ. The pulse was hardly perceptible, the centre of the tongue was covered with a white, dry fur, its tip and edges were red. There was a sense of constriction of the fauces, with some tenderness over the epigastrium, and intense thirst, the gratification of which was followed by immediate retching. The countenance presented an odd expression, the eyelids were nearly closed, and he appeared to peep through the lashes. He stated that during the first two hours after taking the poison he perceived no uneasiness. The principal treatment consisted in the repeated application of sinapisms to the epigastrium and calves, together with hot bottles to the hands and feet, and in the administration of ammonia, in the form of liq. ammoniæ, gtt. xv., in water, every half hour, and subsequently in effervescing draughts of the sesquicarbonate with lemon-juice. He gradually recovered, and was discharged at the end of a week.- Indian Annals, Oct. 1856, pp. 298–9.
Symptoms of Poisoning produced by Ergot.—The following case occurred to M. Trastour. A woman of lymphatic temperament, and very fat, had profuse uterine hæmorrhage after delivery of a still-born fætus at eight months. Three grammes (forty-five grains) of ergot were given in six doses in the course of an hour; cold applications were also made to the abdomen and thighs. The hæmorrhage was checked and the uterus contracted, but in a few hours there were severe symptoms of disturbance of the circulation. The patient rolled constantly from one side to the other; her face was pale, her lips a little blue. The pulse in the radial and brachial arteries was imperceptible; the heartbeat was regular, not increased in frequency, but weak. The patient complained of prickling sensations, and of cold in her hands and feet; she said that she no longer felt her limbs. The extremities were really cold to the touch; the skin and the nails had a blue tint, both in the hands and feet; intellect was clear. These symptoms were combated by the alternate administration of broth and wine, then by some spoonfuls of opiate syrup given every two hours. All the alarming symptoms had disappeared in three days; convalescence was tedious, but perfect recovery took place.-Journal de la Section de Médecine de la Loire-Inférieure, and Gazette Médicale de Paris, July 25th, 1857.
Poisoning by the Root of the Hyoscyamus Niger.—The root of henbane has some resemblance to that of the parsnep; and poisoning with it may the more easily occur, if it is used before or after the completion of its growth, when it is very fleshy, has a sweet taste, and contains a large amount of narcotic principle. At the beginning of May, 1855, the henbane in Sweden had not begun to put forth leaves; and at this time the following cases of poisoning by its use came under the notice of Hr. Sondahl:
Late in the evening of May 6th he was called to a day labourer's family, who at midday had partaken of a quantity of soup made from some roots taken from their garden. The woman of the house, aged thirty-nine, had taken about a pint of the soup, and had eaten some of the root; her son, aged four years and a half, had drank about the same quantity of soup, but had eaten none of the root; and an old widow, aged sixty-nine, who resided in the house, had taken an entire soup-plateful both of the liquid and solid constituents of the soup. In about half an hour the woman of the house was seized with giddi. ness, a feeling of weight over the eyes, and headache. She soon afterwards felt weak in her legs, and the people with her in the room seemed to assume grotesque appearances. The old woman had also the same symptoms. The latter fell in attempting to go to her bed, but was able to rise and reach the bed. In a short time the boy began to complain of being unwell; he was very restless, and joined the women in laughter. This state of ridiculous excitement lasted in each of the patients about half an hour, and was succeeded by noisy and then br quiet delirium. In the old woman and the boy the symptoms appeared to increase ; in the woman of the house some amount of intelligence returned, so that she was able to send for her husband.
Hr. Sondahl found the old woman sitting in a corner of the room, muttering to herself, and rocking her body to and fro; now catching at the air or at some imaginary appearance; then pulling about the bed-clothes, and answering questions either not at all or incorrectly. The pupils were widely dilated and immorable. The patient complained of intolerance of light, and shaded her eres with her hands - not by closing the lids. In all three, oscially in the bor, the eres, which were rather staring, appeared larger than usual. The cutaneous sensibilitr was not diminished in the old woman; the motor power also, with the exception of the weakness of the legs and the constant rocking of the body, seemed unaltered, and there were no twitchings or other signs of convulsions. The circulation was somewhat quickened; the pulse was 100 tolerably full, but weak and equal. The respiratory and abdominal organs presented nothing unusual; but she afterwards said that her mouth felt thick, and that she had a disagreeable taste in it.
The boy was throwing himself about in bed, was incessantly screaming, and
occasionally rubbed his hot head with both hands. At intervals he had twitchings in his arms and legs; the fingers were alternately extended and contracted. He momentarily looked about restlessly with staring eyes. The pupil of the left eye was much dilated, and was insensible to the influence of light, but there was no photophobia ; in the right eye, the iris was adherent to the cornea in consequence of previous inflammation. The state of the cutaneous sensibility could not be ascertained with certainty. The respiration was unequal, stertorous, generally with simultaneous twitchings of the limbs. The pulse was not hard, but frequent (144), partly in consequence of the violent movements. Nothing abnormal was observed in the digestive organs.
The woman of the house was walking about in her room, but somewhat unsteadily. - Generally she answered questions rationally, but sometimes was a little confused. She complained of violent headache, especially over the eyes. She sometimes saw stars and sparks before her eyes, and had also peculiar illusions. All white objects appeared to her surrounded by rings or borders, in which yellow predominated. If she looked into a cup the edges appeared yellow, but the interior seemed as if there were small animals moving in it. The pupils were much dilated, but they contracted under the influence of light, though more slowly than usual. She complained of some noise in the ears, and had no inclination to sleep, nor had either of the other patients. The cutaneous sensibility was unchanged, and the gait was insecure, but the patient had perfect command over her limbs. The pulse was from eighty to ninety. The patient complained of a loathsome bitter taste in her mouth, but could swallow well. Her lips, tongue, and mouth appeared thick. She felt no thirst, nor any burning, nor pain, in her mouth.
The old woman vomited after taking five grains of sulphate of copper, fol. lowed in ten minutes by ten grains of sulphate of zinc. The vomited matters contained half-digested portions of the root. When the vomiting had ceased, she took a tablespoonful of an aqueous solution of tannin, and half a cup of strong coffee. The boy, after a dose of four grains of sulphate of copper, vomited a quantity of fluid matter, but none of the root. He afterwards had some spoonfuls of solution of tannin, and a large quantity of strong coffee, and cold lotion was applied to his head. The woman of the house took coffee alone.
During the hour and a half that Herr Sondahl remained with the patients, their state had so far improved that the screaming and tossing about were less violent. On the following morning the old woman was found asleep; she was easily awakened, and answered questions rationally, but soon fell asleep again. The boy had not slept, but had been tranquil, and said he was quite well. At times he still had slight twitchings, especially in the legs, and looked rather confused. The woman of the house had not slept, and had vomited copiously after drinking coffee. She complained only of slight pain in the head; the pupils were moveable, but still somewhat dilated; she at intervals had muscæ volitantes, and objects appeared to be strongly illuminated, and to have coloured edges. At midday all the patients were quite convalescent.
Herr Sondahl compares these cases with some others related by Schilizzi, and also with one described in the eighth volume of the 'Hygiea,' which ended fatally. The principal symptoms in all were the same.-Hygiea, Band xvii.; and Schmidt's Jahrbücher, Jahrgang, 1857, No. 7.
Colica Pictonum produced by the White-lead Treatment of a Severe Scald. Dr. G. A. Kunkler relates the case of an Irish servant girl who severely scalded the fore-arm and hand. Extensive vesication followed. The blisters were punctured, and common white paint, of the consistence of cream, was freely applied with a camel-hair brush, the part was covered with cotton, and a roller lightly applied over the whole.' This dressing was repeated on the 40-XX.
following day. On the third day she exhibited unmistakable signs of colica saturnina-acute abdominal pain, retraction of the umbilicus, constipation, and slight discoloration of the gums. The symptoms yielded to opium and pur. gatives, and the linseed oil and lime-water dressing was substituted for the lead, under which treatment the burn got well. Dr. Kunkler states that he has freely used the white paint in a number of other cases, some of them of great severity, without meeting with a bad result. The Editor believes this to be the only well authenticated case of colie resulting from the application of white lead to burns or scalds.--North American Medico-Chirurgical Revier, July, 1857, p. 605.
Snake Bite.—Dr. Shortt records a case of recovery from snake bite, in which the administration of arsenic and ammonia appeared productive of good effect. The species of snake by which the injury was inflicted was not known. Abdool Rhymon, aged twenty-five, an active hale young man, in climbing a mahaddee, or toddy palm tree, for the purpose of cutting charrak for his elephant, was bitten on the right knee, at the middle and inner side of the patella, by a snake, which he says was twice as thick as his index finger. About twenty minutes after the occurrence he felt giddy, became deal, and was unable to speak distinctly. His tongue felt thick and adherent to the roof of the mouth, and he staggered in walking. Dr. Shortt saw him thirty minutes after he had been bitten. He complained of coldness, and a sense of oppression at the chest. He had an anxious look, was tremulous, the skin was rough and contracted, but of the natural temperature and moisture; the eyes were congested, the pupils contracted to the size of a pin's head, and unaffected by light. The pulse was small and irregular. There was vomiting of a greenish coloured liquid. The principal treatment adopted consisted in the administration at short intervals of three draughts, each containing one drachm of liq. am. moniæ, one ounce of brandy, and twenty minims of laudanum; the application of a sinapism to the epigastrium, and of liq. ammoniæ to the wound, the latter being frequently repeated. After the third draught, although previously relieved, he complained of returning dyspnca and oppression; he was restless, his countenance was suffused, and his pulse 120, irregular. A mustard emetic was ordered, and after its action a draught, containing two drachms of tig. potas. arsenitis, which was to be repeated in balf an hour. Brandy was also freely administered. The patient made a favourable recovery, and was discharged four days after the accident. Altogether he took eight ounces of brandy, three drachms of liq. ammoniæ, and two grains of arsenious acid. The brandy and ammonia appeared of use, but the mustard emetic and liq, potass. arsepitis seemed to relieve the oppressive symptoms at once.-Indian Annals, October, 1856, pp. 299-301.
Mortality from Snake-Bites in the Province of Sind. From Official Records, with a special Report on the Snake Season of 1854. By C. J. F. Imlach, M.D., Assistant-Surgeon.--In consequence of the great mortality occurring from snake bites throughout the province of Sind, a letter, dated June 6th, 1854, was addressed to Government by the Commissioner in that province. This document stated, that although during the cold months one case per month was the average mortality from this cause, a total of seventy-four deaths nad been returned on the verdict of formal inquests during the whole period. In one week fourteen such verdicts had been reported. This great mortality led to a suspicion that deaths from other causes had been assigned to this agency, and it was supposed that the excuse of a snake bite might be often invented to conceal the murder of women from motives of jealousy-a crime very common in Sind. The following facts negatived this supposition. The cases of snake bite were not in the same proportion throughout the year,