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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

340                                              MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE

the skin was peeling off at several places. The uterus was inverted and protruding
from the vagina. The foetus was a male of five months of intra-uterine life with the
placenta and cord (ten inches long) intact, and attached to the umbilicus.

Brown11 reports the case of a pregnant woman who had been dead about 60 hours
before her body was found. There were signs of putrefaction in the skin and general
emphysema. The vagina was not gaping. During the removal of the body from the
hut, an eight months' foetus, weighing 6 pounds, was spontaneously expelled. The
inverted uterus prolapsed, showing the placenta still attached. There was no tear of the
perinzeum. The uterus was normal. The foetus showed slight peeling of the epidermis
but otherwise no signs of putrefaction.

R. Nagendran 12 reports the case of a widow, 35 years old, who died of drowning
in a tank. At the end of three days the body floated to the surface and was removed
by the police for investigation and examination. Post-mortem examination was held
twelve hours after the inquest. The body was decomposed. Protruding through the
vagina and hanging down was a foetus with the umbilical cord, 13 inches long. The
entrance to the vagina was plugged by the placenta. On further examination it was
found that the uterus had prolapsed and completely everted, lying hi the vaginal canal
with the placenta still adhered to the fundus.

The material alleged to have been expelled from the Uterus.  When

^a substance alleged to have been expelled from the uterus as a product of

Conception is sent to the medical man for his opinion, he should thoroughly

wash w it in water to determine if it is a foetus or merely a blood clot, a shred

of the dysmenorrhoeal membrane,  a polypus, or a fibroid tumour.   In a

doubtful case a small portion of the suspicious material should be cut off,

mounted on a slide in water or glycerin and examined under the low power

of a microscope.\ I have often examined blood clots wrapped up in pieces

of cloth alleged to be foetuses, and brought by women, who reported to the

- police that they had miscarried as the result of an assault or a kick on the

hypogastrium.   In one case a woman complained that owing to the injuries

inflicted on her abdomen during a quarrel she aborted, and brought for my

examination a^piece of cloth ^contaiiimgjbjgodclots^aijd^ tissue_allgged-4e--:be

a foetusT^^

wasTSuncf to be a piece of tumour. There was also no injury to the abdo-
men. In order to aggravate the offence women generally complain of mis-
carriage having occurred from an assault, when they are having their menses
at the time of the struggle or when the menstrual flow has followed it.

In the early months of pregnancy if the embryo is not found, the
presence of chgrionic^yilli found under the low power of a microscope will
decide the fact of miscarriage. It should be remembered that during the
first three months of pregnancy the foetus is expelled with its membranes
en masse, but after this period the foetus is born first and then after a time
the placenta is detached and expelled, a portion of which may remain
adherent to the uterus. If the placenta is sent along with the foetus, it
should be examined to ascertain if it is entire or torn at any place, and if
there are any degenerative changes on its surface.

K it is a ^foetus, it is necessary to detennine its probable intra-uterine
age, its viability and the presence or absence of wounds or injuries inflicted
on the body.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE FCETUS AT DIFFERENT PERIODS OF GESTATION

FIzs* MoBtfc (Fourth Wedk). At the end of the first month the ovum is greyish in
 r* 1* * ' *** <5iameter *nd is roughly equal to a ieon's e in size. Its weight

roughly equal to a pigeon's egg in size.   Its weight

^          m grains.   The embryo is about l/3rd inch long, and is attached to chorioB

witfo a v^ery short eomL The umbilical vesid;e is present. It has two extremities, the
iifiad Img a ifcki: swelling and the tail slender and well-marked. Two dark spots
indicate ifae eyes, fte mot* Is represented by a cleft, and the limbs by the bud-like

*a                          M e& Assoc. J&wr^ Cape Town, Feb. 11, 1928, p. 64 ; Jour. Amen

Med. Assoc., April 21, Ii28* J*. 133&

12.   Infll JMfedL Goze&e, Ofcioter 1932, p. 571.