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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

DROWNING                                                          169

The inside of the mouth and the lips were livid and congested. The lungs were
congested, and exuded dark frothy blood. There were patches of sub-pleura! ecchy-
mosis on the pericardium and lungs. Death occurred from suffocation by closure of
the mouth and nostrils.

Accident.—1. The body of a Hindu male, 30 years old, was brought to the Agra
Medical School Mortuary on the 21st September 1910 with a police report that it was not
known whether, the deceased died from snake bite or had committed suicide. At the
post-mortem examination it was found that the man died of asphyxia by suffocation
due to food accidentally getting in the larynx and trachea.

2.   A Mahomedan male, aged 35, was found dead in a street of Agra on the 23rd
October 1918.    Upon examination no external mark of injury was found on the body.
The larynx and trachea were injected and particles of a whitish substance were found
adherent to the mucous membrane.   The lungs were engorged with dark blood and the
finer divisions of the bronchi contained a whitish substance  (not muco-pus)  similar to
that found in the trachea.   The stomach contained 14 ounces of whitish material similar
to that found in the trachea and lungs.    Death was due to suffocation brought about
by  particles  of food   accidentally getting  aspirated  into  the   trachea  and  bronchioles.
The  viscera were  preserved but no poison was  detected  on  analysis.    There was  a
history of intoxication.—Agra Med.-Leg. Post-moriem Rep. No. 53.

3.   On or about 8th April 1940, a Hindu female prisoner, 25 years old, who was
pregnant, got an attack of convulsion and died all of a sudden, while she was cutting
jokes with her fellow prisoners.   At the post-mortem examination, the larynx and trachea
were congested and their lumen was blocked by round worms.    The lungs were con-
gested.   The pharynx was clogged by round worms and the stomach was full of un-
digested rice and contained four round worms.    The uterus contained a four months1
foetus.—Case of Dr. G. B. Sahay, Police Surgeon, Patna.

DROWNING

Definition.—Drowning is a form of death in which the atmospheric air is
prevented from entering the lungs by submersion of the body in water or
other fluid medium. It is not necessary that there should be complete
submersion. Death is sure to occur, even if the face alone is submerged
so that air is prevented from entering the respiratory orifices.

Stages of Drowning.—When an individual in perfect possession of his
senses falls into water, he sinks to a depth proportional to the momentum
obtained during the fall, but immediately rises to the surface owing to the
struggling movements of his limbs, though the specific gravity of the body
is slightly higher than that of water. IfJhe is not a swimmer, he cries and
shouts for help, when, his mouth being at the level of the water surface, he
draws water into the stomach and lungs. Ttue water in the lungs excites
coughing and during violent expiratory efforts due to cough, a certain
amount of air is expelled from the lungs, and its place is taken up by water
which is drawn into the lungs. Tbja weight of the body increases and he
sinks, finises again to the surface by the involuntary movements of his
limbs, and draws more water into the lungs in an effort to keep above water,
and consequently goes to the bottom. This alternate rising and sinking
goes on longer than the proverbial three times, until all the air has been
expelled from the lungs and its place has been taken up by water. JHe
then becomes insensible and sinks to the bottom to die. Sometimes convul-
sions precede death,

^5£ti£B^an individual is rendered unconscious by shock or syncope at the
time of immersion, he goes to the bottom, and may rise once to a certain
height but usually sinks without a struggle. In such a case little water
enters the respiratory tract.

Symptom&r^^e^^ubjective symptoms felt by a drowning person are
auditory and* visual hallucinations, and return to memory of past events,
which had already been forgotten. In some cases there is mental coofczstad^

M0de of Death—AsiSa^dsL^^his is a common cause in the majority of
cases, as water getting into the lungs gets churned up with air and
and produces a fine froth which blocks the air vesicles.