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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"



women than in men, whereas the idiopathic ulcer of the duodenum is more
frequent in men. The spleen is enlarged and softened. The liver may show
cloudy swelling and necrosis of the cells, if death has been delayed. The
kidneys may show signs of nephritis, and on section the straight tubules
may be filled with debris of the blood corpuscles giving the appearances of
reddish-brown markings.

Distinction between Ante-mortem and Post-mortem Burns.—People
sometimes produce burns on a dead body to support a false charge of
murder, and at other times the police remove a dead body while in the act
of burning on a cremating pyre and send it to the medical officer for post-
mortem examination, when they suspect that the body is being hurriedly
cremated to conceal the crime of murder. In both cases the medical officer
should be prepared to tell the difference between ante-mortem and post-
mortem burns.

The three main points to differentiate between ante-mortem and post-
mortem burns are—

1.    Line  of  redness.    2.   Vesication.    3.   Reparative  processes.

1, Line of Redness.—In the case of a burn caused during life a line of
redness involving the whole true skin is formed round about the injured
part. It is a permanent line, persisting even after death, but redness or
erythema, which is found beyond this line of redness due "to distension of
the capillaries, is transient, disappears under pressure during life and fades
after death. The line of redness, being a vital function, separates living
from dead tissue, and is always present in burns caused during life, though
if takes some time to appear. Hence it is possible that it may be absent in
the case of a person of a very weak constitution who dies immediately from
shock due to burns.

Fig. 7jf.~—Scalds caused by falling accidentally into
a pail of boiling water.   Note the blisters.

2. Vesieatba.—Vesieation caused by a burn during life contains a
serous fluid consisting of altmnen and chlorides, and has a red, inflamed
ihase with raised papillae, The skin surrounding it is of a bright red or
coppery colour. Tins is known as true as compared with false vesication