Page images



Bulletin de Therap., vol. i, p, 102. Poisoning by Belladonna. —Quite recently a physician of the H6tel-Dieu prescribed for a child of fifteen years two grains of Belladonna in a case of whooping-cough. By a mistake of the druggist the two grains were transformed into two drachms, which were taken, and the child expired in some hours in a state of narcotism, out of which nothing could draw it.

P. 131. Poisoning by Verdigris.—A man who, within a short time, had made four attempts to commit suicide, and who was placed in the Hotel-Dieu for the mending of his lower jaw which he had fractured by a " pistol-shot," there attempted for the fifth time to put an end to his days. For this purpose he swallowed a certain quantity of wine in which he had allowed five large sous to macerate. The accident being recognised in time he was forced to drink large quantities of an albuminous liquid, which caused the expulsion of the copper salts by vomiting. The patient is out of danger, but besides the fractured jaw he has at present a very acute gastric irritation; met with proper measures this will easily yield.

V. iii, p. 280. Experiments undertaken by Dr. Postel to test Orfila's conclusion, from his experiments, that sugar exercised no chemical action on Verdigris which has been introduced into the stomach.

Two dogs, of strength and size almost equal, were procured for this purpose. Into the stomach of one of them he (Dr. Postel) introduced, by means of an oesophageal tube, a drachm of Verdigris dissolved in four ounces of water. The same dose of Verdigris and water was injected into the stomach of the other, and by the same means. Some instants after the injection of the poison these two animals whined and had a vomit and a stool lightly coloured blue. He then introduced into the stomachs of these animals, always by means of the sound and at different times, in the one case a large quantity of albumen, in the other a large quantity of water saturated with brown sugar. After some vomiting and stools these animals appeared quiet enough, they drank the water left for them; he left them. That to which the albumen had been administered died in the night. On opening the body the digestive canal, and particularly the stomach, were found considerably inflamed; the stomach presented several ulcerations. The other animal recovered in a few days.

Struck with the difference between his results and those of Orfila, who found sugar of no avail and recommended albumen as preferable for chemical reasons, he next performed experiments in Orfila's way, tying the oesophagus after administering the poison.

1. M. Postel injected into the stomach of a large strong dog thirty grains of crystallised Acetate of Copper dissolved in two ounces of water. Shortly after, four ounces of brown sugar suspended in four ounces of water. He tied the oesophagus. The animal remained twenty minutes without showing anything unusual. It had two stools, feebly coloured blue. It uttered no cry, no complaint. Two hours after the injection of the poison the animal appeared prostrated and made no effort to vomit. It died three hours after the operation.

The autopsy (made fifteen hours post mortem) showed as follows:—Cadaveric rigidity strongly pronounced. The oesophagus, as far as a certain distance from the ligature, presents the symptoms of the most violent inflammation without any other alteration. The stomach contains a considerable quantity of liquid having a very pronounced green tint, and only presents slight traces of inflammation near the cardiac orifice. Towards its great cul-de-sac (curvature P) there are greyish marblings. The mucous membrane, a little thick, is removed with the greatest facility. The rest of the digestive canal presents no alterations; it is in the normal condition. The trachea and bronchi present nothing in particular. The lungs are engorged; the heart full of clotted blood. The uterus, enclosing the fruit of conception, presents a liquid strongly coloured blue; the placenta strips off with ease and presents the same colour.

2. Shortly after, he injected into the stomach of a dog of the same size and the same strength an equal dose of crystallised Acetate of Copper dissolved in the same quantity of water, and four whites of eggs suspended in three ounces of water. The Obsophagus was tied. The animal had frequent endeavours to vomit and several stools, slightly coloured blue, as in the aforementioned observation. He did not succumb till five hours after the injection of the poison.

The autopsy (twelve hours post mortem) presents the following :— (Esophagus red and inflamed; stomach, containing alimentary substances, coloured green; great curvature presenting considerable redness; mucous membrane thick, and stripping off easily; the rest of the stomach presenting no notable alteration. Intestines normal; thorax containing in its cavity an abundant watery liquid; serous membrane covered with an albuminous layer, analogous to the pseudo-membranes. Lungs strongly inflamed, gorged with blood, tearing with ease. Heart containing clots of blood, very remarkable for their firm consistence.

Copper salts were found in the fluid contents of the stomach, and in the first case the liquor amnii contained also copper, but in very small quantities.

Vol. viii. Poisoning by Tincture of Colchicum seeds.—Taken from "a German journal," there reported by Dr. Andrea, of Magdeburg.

Two men, employed in a Magdebourg pharmacy, drank under the idea that it was Tincture of orange a certain quantity of Tincture of Colchicum seeds, prepared according to the directions of the Prussian Pharmacoposia with five ounces of the seeds to two pounds of alcohol. One, who only drank a little of the tincture, had violent vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pains; he was prostrated for two days, but recovered. The other, who took a little more than an ounce, died at the end of thirty-nine hours, after presenting the most remarkable symptoms.

Three or four hours after the ingestion, constriction of the epigastric region, oppression of the chest, difficulty of the respiration, burning heat of the mouth, difficulty of deglutition, desire for cold drinks, alternations of chills and heats, anxiety, frequent and painful vomiting, of a yellowish-green colour, abundant, mucous, fetid stools of an orange-yellow colour, almost continual. At the close of the day the extremities became cold, the eyes became hollow, the pupils contracted, the pulse became weak, small, and irregular j the anguish and agitation increased. The patient complained above all of acute pains along the back and to the two heels, which persisted until his death. Intelligence was intact to the last moment.

Milk, emollients, poultices, were alone employed. No autopsy was made.

Vol. xii, p. 359. Poisoning by Sulphate of Copper.—A dyer, set. 40, came to La Charite in the afternoon, having taken voluntarily an ounce of Sulphate of Copper in solution. The man was suffering from violent colic, and yet he had been able to come on foot to the hospital. He had frequent and painful vomitings of bluish matters. Lying in the ward of M. Andrea, he refused any kind of explanation of the nature of the poisoning, and the cause which had led him to this act of despair. He was made to swallow an abundance of Carbonate of Magnesia, but, as might have been expected, this salt had no effect on the copper preparation, and the subject died in the evening.

Autopsy—(Esophagus livid red. The stomach, in its whole extent, of blue colour that would not wash off; beneath this coloration the mucous membrane was of deep red. The whole intestinal tube from one end to the other was of a uniform winered, and bore the trace of a violent inflammation.

Vol. xvii, p. 195. Poisoning by Nitrate of Silver.—Cured by common salt.

On the 23rd of June a youth, who had long beeu employed as a pharmacy boy, aet. 21, was brought at 1 a.m. to the St. Louis Hospital in a state which seemed to indicate imminent death. He was completely unconscious, without sensation in any part of his body; the upper limbs and muscles of the face were agitated by convulsive movements; the jaws were Btronglyclenched,eyes turned up, pupils very much dilated and insensible to light.

The declarations of the persons who brought him, a remnant of liquid which presented the physical characters of Nitrate of Silver, and above all the large stains which the Nitrate of Silver had caused on the fingers of the patient, left no doubt as to the nature of the poisoning. At once, every quarter of an hour, a glass of a solution of sea salt was administered, in the proportion of half a drachm of salt to an ounce of water. At the end of an hour and a half a sensible improvement was apparent in the patient's state; the pupils were less dilated, the convulsions and clenching of the jaws had ceased. The use of the Baline solution was continued for five hours more. At this point the sensibility was a little less blunt. The patient experienced very severe epigastric pains. It was only at midday, eleven hours after his entrance to the hospital, that the general sensibility of the body returned and the patient recovered his speech. At 3 p.m. he fell into a profound coma, with insensibility and loss of intelligence; this state lasted two hours. Similar comatose seizures were repeated on the 24th and 25th of June. It was not till the end of that day that his state became altogether reassuring. Nothing interrupted his convalescence, and he left on the 29th of June, presenting only very slight epigastric pains.

The patient said he had swallowed eight drachms of Nitrate of Silver suspended in black currant natifia. This dose appeared to us exaggerated; it is, however, certain that the quantity of silver ingested must have been considerable, for at 5 p.m., that is to say, eighteen hours after the poisoning, the patient having vomited on his clothes and the covering of the bed, the matter had blackened the prints which they had touched, and M. Pomarade, who treated two of these stains with caustic ammonia diluted with water, and the liquor filtered and saturated by an acid, obtained a grain of the Chloride of Silver.


Sulphur in Ague.

To the Editors of the 'British Journal of Homoeopathy?

Gentlemen,—Tou will, I know, pardon my directing attention to M. d'Abbadie's recent revelations concerning the prophylactic powers of Sulphur over ague.

My observations regarding the homoeopathic relationship between the action of Sulphur and the effects of intermittent fever are too well known to your readers to need repetition. My sphere of practice has not afforded me an opportunity of pursuing the matter further ; meantime it is satisfactory to know that as science advances the fact becomes increasingly obvious that there exists a very pronounced relationship between the

« PreviousContinue »