WAS THE CHILD BOKK ALIVE ? 349 respond to the hydrostatic test. Dr. Dilworth, who examined the body, stated that but for the evidence heard by him at the inquest he would have no hesitation in affirming that the child had been still-born and had never breathed. He suggested that the child had lived a few hours by what little seration the blood received through the mucous membrane of the trachea and larger bronchi.—Brit. Med. Jour., Dec. 1, 1900, p. 1567. 2. A married woman, the mother of a family, was delivered of a seven months' child. The infant was washed and dressed j it did not cry, but the nurse said " it made a moaning noise". It lived a little over seven hours. An inquest was held, and at the autopsy the lungs were found collapsed and had all the appearance of those of a child who had never breathed. There were no developed air cells or vermilion spots. The lungs sank in water. They were then cut up into small pieces and every piece went to the bottom immediately it was thrown into the vessel. There was no doubt that the infant had lived and breathed, though probably very feebly, for seven hours.—Charles Bandolph, Ibid., Jan. 19, 1901, p. 146. 2. The unexpanded lungs may float from— (a) The Presence of Putrefactive Gases.—For the putrefactive gases to be the possible cause of floating the lungs, there should be distinct signs of decomposition of the body as well as of the lungs. The putrefied lungs are soft and greenish in colour, and the putrefactive gases collect under the pleurae and in the connective tissue in the form of air bubbles of different sizes, which can be squeezed from place to place, and can be expelled on the application of pressure after cutting the lungs into pieces, so that they will sink when placed in water, whereas the air due to the establishment of respiration cannot be expelled from the air vesicles after the application of pressure, unless the force is so great as to disintegrate the lung tissue. However, the medical jurist should never venture an opinion, if the lungs are too far advanced in putrefaction. (b) Artificial Inflation.—The foetal lungs may be artificially inflated by blowing air through a tube, catheter or cannula passed into the trachea, by the mouth to mouth method or by Schultze's method (swinging the body) of resuscitation. Artificial inflation of the lungs in a newly-born infant is an extremely difficult matter. The lungs may be inflated partially but cannot be distended completely, even when artificial respiration is performed by a trained person. In such cases the stomach is certain to be filled with air, while it is airless in still-born infants. Miron Hajkis9 has also shown from radiographic investigations that mouth to mouth insufflation in a still-born infant immediately after birth causes air to enter the stomach but never the intestine, while air is never present in the stomach or intestine of still-born infants. The possibility of inflating the lungs artificially in criminal cases should never be countenanced, as inflation can only be practised by the medical attendant or by the mother to save the child, but one who wants to destroy a newly-born infant will try to prevent respiration rather than induce artificial inflation of the lungs. In conclusion, the medical officer is justified in affirming that the child ' had lived during and after its birth if lie finds the following appearances on post-mortem examination of the body of a newly-born infant: — (1) A full-term mature foetus judged from its length, weight and other characteristics, especially the centres of ossification in the lower epiphysis 6f the femur and in the tarsal cuboid bone. The centre of ossifi- cation in the upper end of the tibia is usually found at full-term or shortly after full-term. (2) The diaphragm standing at the sixth or seventh rib. (3) The lungs occupying more or less the thoracic cavity and a portion of the heart and thymus gland. ----------------------------- 9. Lancet, July 21, 1934* p. 134.