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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

BURSTS AND  SCALDS

195

which is produced after death. False vesication contains air only, but may
contain a very small quantity of serum comprising a trace of albumen, but
not chlorides as in a person suffering from general anasarca. Again, its
base is hard, dry, horny and yellow, instead of being red and inflamed.

3.    Reparative Processes.—Reparative processes, such as signs of inflam-*
mation, formation of granulation tissue, pus and sloughs, will indicate that1
the burns were caused during life.    Burns caused after death have a dull
white appearance with the openings of the skin glands coloured grey.   The
internal organs are roasted, and emit a peculiar offensive odour.

Period of Bums.—In the case of a burn a question is raised as to when
it was caused, and in the case of several burns on the same individual a
further question is raised as to whether they were inflicted simultaneously.
Both these questions may be answered by examining carefully their con-
dition as regards the different stages of reparative processes.

Redness occurs immediately after a burn. Vesication forms within two
to three hours. Pus forms in two to three days but not before thirty-six
hours. Superficial sloughs separate out usually from the fourth to the sixth
day, and deep ones within a fortnight. After this period granulation tissue
begins to cover the surface of the burn. The last result is the formation of
a cicatrix and deformity after several weeks or even months, depending
•upon the amount of suppuration, sloughing and depth and extent of the
burn.

Suicidal, Homicidal and Acci-
dental Burns.—Suicidal cases are
rare among men. A case 1 occur-
red at Hapur, where a treasurer
of the local branch of the Impe-
rial Bank of India committed
suicide at midnight by putting
himself on a pyre of charcoal and
wood and throwing kerosene oil
on it and then setting fire to it.
Occasionally women, disappoint-
ed in love or tired of domestic
worries or some acute or chronic
ailment, commit suicide by soak-
ing their clothes first with kero-
sene oil and then setting fire to
them. The pernicious custom of
dowry among certain Hindu
castes sometimes leads young
maids to commit suicide in this
manner with a view to relieving
then- poor parents of the anxiety
to raise sufficient money for the
dowry at their marriages.

A Hindu woman, aged 40 years, who
was suffering from phthisis, put an
end to her life by setting fire to her
clothes after soaking them with kero-
sene oil. At the post-mortem exami-
nation held 18 hours after death, the
body was found to have assumed the
pugilistic attitude. The arms were
extended from the shoulders, and the
forearms partly flexed. The thighs
were almost perpendicular to the-
abdomen and the legs partly flexed

1.   Leader, March- 7, 1934.

Fig. 72.—Body of a male burned an<J
after death from