Imatges de pÓgina

The stomach was inflamed and corroded, the lungs nearly natural. The muriate of barytes, injected into the jugular, caused great agitation, and convulsions. The respiration was not affected. The heart was distended by coagulated blood, the stomach was healthy, and the lungs nearly natural; introduced into the stomach, it produced vomiting and purging, violent convulsions of the anterior extremities and face, and greatly accelerated pulse. The stomach was of a livid red, and the mucous coat could be easily rubbed off. The left ventricle of the heart contained black fluid blood. Lime was introduced into the stomach of a little dog, to the

a extent of a drachm and a half in powder. It excited vomiting, and the discharge of much saliva, but caused little distress, and the dog soon seemed to recover. In five days it got three drachms, which caused it to vomit quickly, and to be depressed, and it died in three days, without having experienced convulsions, or vertigo, or paralysis. The pharynx and æsophagus were slightly inflamed; and the mucous membrane of the stomach was inflamed throughout its whole extent.

Phosphorus, dissolved in oil, injected into the jugular vein, instantly produced exhalations of phosphorous acid by the mouth and nostrils, caused difficult respiration, and panting, and death, after having rejected a great quantity of bloody serosity, without any remarkable nervous symptom. The left ventricle of the heart contained blood as black and fluid as that which filled the right. There were several livid and dense portions of the lungs; the stomach was natural. Phosphorus introduced in small lumps into the stomach, does not at first induce any remarkable effect, but the animal falls gradually into a

of depression, and dies. The stomach is much inflamed, and contains a ropy flocculent fluid. When it is introduced into the stomach, dissolved in oil, its action is much more violent. Fumes of phosphorus and gas were exhaled from the lungs; the animal seemed to suffer exquisite torture. It then lay immoveable, and was violently convulsed before death. The stomach was perfectly disorganized and corroded. The lungs were red, gorged with blood, and did not crepitate.

Powdered glass, taken into the stomach, produced no effect. Cantharides in tincture injected into the jugular vein, pro

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duced vertigo, stupor, and death. The blood in the left ventricle of the heart was fluid and reddish; that in the right, black, containing coagula; but exactly the same effects were produced by the injection of alkohol alone. Oil digested upon cantharides, was next tried. It soon deprived the animal of sensibility and muscular power, and induced successively tetanus, convulsions, difficult respiration, and death. The lungs were very large, and gorged with a great quantity of reddish serosity; in some parts they were livid and compact. The mucous membrane of the bladder was slightly red, and the stomach natural. Cantharides in powder, taken into the stomach, acted as a corrosive, producing vomiting, the discharge of much bloody mucus, depression of vital power, and death. The stomach is always violently inflamed, and the bladder sometimes.

Lead. The solution of the acetate, to the extent of three grains, injected into the jugular, caused only slight vomiting of white ropy matter. Five grains seemed, at first, to have no effect, but in three days the animal became depressed, and refused its food, but preserved the power of walking. On the fourth day, its gait was unsteady and difficult; its hind legs were slightly convulsed; it was very weak, and it died on the fifth day. The lungs and stomach were healthy. Thirteen grains killed instantly, without any mark of pain or convulsions, after three or four deep inspirations. The blood in the left ventricle was fluid, and of a florid red. When taken into the stomach, in powder, and in considerable quantity, it caused death, after vomiting, and insensibility. The stomach was inflamed. Given in solution, it also excited nervous symptoms, loss of muscular power, convulsive trembling of the limbs, and vertigo.

Hydrosulphuret of potass. In solution injected into the jugular it produced immediate tetanus, from which, in one instance, the animal quickly recovered, and in another he perished. The blood in the heart was florid, and in the left ventricle of a deep red. Taken into the stomach it excited vomiting, difficult respiration and depression, or, when vomiting was prevented, violent attempts to vomit, hurried respiration, panting, loss of muscular power, convulsions, tetanus, death. The stomach was found much inflamed and ulcerated, and the lungs partially gorged. The left heart contained black blood.

Iodine. M. Orfila is assuredly the first to have tried the effects of this singular and costly substance upon the animal economy, both on dogs and on himself. He first took two grains fasting, but they only excited an abominable taste, and some nausea. Next day he took four grains. He was immediately sensible of constriction and heat in the throat, which lasted a quarter of an hour, and he soon vomited yellow liquid matter, in which iodine was easily recognized. Two days after he took six grains, which instantly excited heat and constriction of the throat, nausea, irritation, salivation, and pain of stomach; and in ten minutes copious bilious vomiting, and slight colic pains, which yielded to two emollient clysters, after having lasted an hour; the pulse rose from 70 to 90, and was fuller. Next day he only felt slightly fatigued. Dogs could bear about a drachm and a half of it, if they were permitted to vomit freely; but if the csophagus was tied, it proved invariably fatal, after exciting violent efforts to vomit, hiccup, thirst, quick pulse, and great depression. The edges of the rugæ of the stomach were always corroded and ulcerated. The lungs and other organs natural. A large quantity, two or three drachms, proved fatal to dogs in the same way, although the esophagus was not tied; and it is worth remarking, that M. Orfila was able to detect iodine in the bluish pasty matter accompanying the stools which were first passed after taking it, or in the first matters vomited, which were always tinged yellow. One drachm and twelve grains of iodine applied to a wound in the back of a dog, acted merely as a caustic, causing a thick yellowish white eschar to slough off in three days.

To these inquiries into the mode of action of each poison upon the animal economy, M. Orfila subjoins some cases, original and selected, in which their deleterious action upon the human body was evinced; and, from the whole, he draws up a summary of the organic lesions produced by each.

M. Orfila's work also contains another series of interesting and original experiments, on the antidotes of the several poi. sons mentioned in it, as forming a branch of their treatment. On the properties which a substance ought to possess, in order to constitute it an antidote, he agrees with Renault, * except

Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, Vol. viii. p. 89.

in not requiring it to be soluble in water and animal fluids, since magnesia, the best antidote of the mineral poisons, is not soluble; and he might have also struck out from among the requisites, their being perfectly innocent when taken in large doses; for both the alkalis and mineral acids, although poisonous when given in large doses, may be legitimately considered as antidotes to each other, and are in fact used as such. Io experimenting upon puisons and their antidotes, no positive conclusion can be drawn, unless the æsophagus be tied, as the recovery of the animal may be owing to the rejection of the poison by vomiting, while, on the other hand, we must be equally cautious in drawing positive conclusions from the comparative time apimals survive the operation; for animals differ so much in vitality, that one, to whom no poison has been given, shall die of the effects of tying the @sophagus, sooner than another to which also a dose of poison has been administered. Hence M. Orfila concludes, that “When it is established that any poison produces inflammation, ulceration, or erosion of any part of the alimentary canal, we may, without hesitation, pronounce any chemical reagent, which prevents the occurrence of these effects, to be its antidote, at whatever period death may succeed the experiment.” (Vol. II. p. 48.) Proceeding upon these principles, he rejects many of the antidotes proposed by Navier, and has established the virtues of others. The great length of this article will only permit us to attend to the latter, the knowledge of which cannot be too generally diffused. Albumen he finds, by experiment, to be the only counter-poison of corrosive sublimate; and, in fact, taken in sufficient quantity, it decomposes the metallic salt, forming a triple compound, consisting of albumen, muriatic acid, and protoxide of mercury, or calomel, which may be swallowed in large doses with impunity. It has also the great advantage of being always at hand, and, there is no danger of giving it in excess. The practical rule, therefore is, that as soon as we are called to a person suspected of having taken corrosive sublimate, we should immediately make them swallow as many whites of eggs, well mixed with water, as the stomach can contain. It will immediately decompose the metallic alt remaining in the stomach; and if it excite fresh vomiting, so much the better. Along with this, blood-letting, &c. may be had recourse to, in order to overcome the inflammation already excited. Charcoal, lately recommended as an antidote both of corrosive sublimate and arsenic, has no such effect; and acts only mechanically, by involving their particles, as alumine, or any such substance does.

For arsenic, unfortunately, no antidote has been discovered; we must therefore content ourselves with filling the stomach with viscid and mucilaginous fluids, and exciting vomiting, combined with the antiphlogistic treatment.

Decoction of cinchona, strong tea, and astringents, in general seem to have some power against the poison of tartar emetic; but M. Orfila does not consider them as at all equivalent to emptying the stomach by tickling the throat, and renewed large draughts of warm water.

In sugar and syrup we are rather surprised to find an antidote for verdegris, and yet it seems to rest upon good grounds. M. Marcelin Duval has collected various proofs of its efficacy upon men poisoned with verdegris. In all, it allayed the pain and other alarming symptoms, and produced an immense quantity of liquid stools. M. Orfila has confirmed the conclusions drawn from these observations, by direct experiments on animals; and has also shown that sugar exercises a chemical action on verdegris, and renders it insoluble in water.

Milk is the real antidote of muriate of tin, by which it is completely coagulated. The coagulum contains muriatic acid and oxide of tin, and is not deleterious.

Muriate of soda counteracts the corrosive effects of nitrate of silver.

Calcined magnesia answers very well as an antidote to the corrosive action of the acids, but must be used soon.

The sulphates of soda and magnesia are antidotes to the salts of lead and barytes. They form purging salts, which carry off the sulphate of lead and barytes.

Acetic acid is the best antidote against the effects of the alkalies.

We are afraid that we have trespassed upon the patience of our readers by the great length of this article; but we have been seduced into it, not only by the general excellence of the work VOL. VI.


No. 21.

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