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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

474                                              MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE

slum sulphate was left inside It. Brandy was given per rectum, and oxygen inhalation
was administered. The patient recovered in a couple of days.32 Several cases of suicide
by lysol occur every year, chiefly in Germany. In February 1923, a case occurred at
Bangalore, where a woman was charged with attempting to commit suicide on Christmas
Eve by drinking lysol. She was found guilty, and fined fifty rupees. In his annual
report for the year 1947, the Chemical Examiner, Bengal, quotes the case of an Anglo-
Indian female, aged 50 years, and resident of Calcutta, who committed suicide by taking

Accidental cases of poisoning have sometimes occurred. A European boy, 14 years
old, died in four hours and forty-five minutes after he had taken an enema of one and
a half ounces of lysol in a pint of water.33 Shore 34 describes a case of accidental poison-
ing by absorption of lysol through the unbroken skin. A seaman purchased a bottle of
lysol, and put it into his hip-pocket. Afterwards he met with an accident, as a result
of which the bottle was broken, and the lysol saturated his clothes, so that he was
burned from the hip to the heel on that side; there was a certain amount of burning
on the other leg as well. The man died in about three-quarters of an hour. Post-
mortem examination showed that the kidneys were red and enlarged.


This is obtained from wood tar by destructive distillation, and consists chiefly of a
mixture of guaiacol, creosol, and other phenols. It is an oily liquid, having a strong,
empyreumatic odour and an acrid taste. It is colourless or pale yellow when fresh, but
becomes brown on exposure to light. It is slightly soluble in water, but is miscible with
alcohol 90%, ether, chloroform, and fixed and volatile oils. It is an official preparation,
the dose being 2 to 10 niinims.

Creosote is used externally as an application in toothache, and internally in tuber-
culosis. Poisoning has, therefore, occurred from such uses although toleration for it is
established by gradually increasing the dose. It acts much in the same way as carbolic
acid, but it does not impart a dark colour to the urine.

Symptoms.—Local corrosive action on the mucous membranes of the lips, tongue
and mouth, burning pain in the stomach, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, cyanotic lips, con-
tracted pupils, coma and stertorous breathing. Convulsions may occur in infants. It is
eliminated by the kidneys, and its odour may be perceived in the urine.

Fatal Dose and Fatal Period.—Two drachms killed an aged woman in thirty-six
hours. Twenty-four to thirty drops killed an infant, ten days old, in sixteen hours.
Three six-drop doses of creosote taken in milk proved fatal to a woman, 52 years old,
in five days. Recovery has, however, occurred after one ounce of creosote.

Treatment—This is the same as that for carbolic acid poisoning.

Post-mortem Appearances.—The mucous membranes of the lips, tongue, mouth,
oesophagus and stomach are grey or red in colour, inflamed and eroded in patches. The
brain and lungs are congested. The kidneys are usually congested, but they may be
inflamed. The odour of creosote is present in the stomach contents and even in the brain.

Chemical Test.—Ferric chloride gives a dirty green or brown colour, discharged by

Pyrogallic Acid (Pyrogallol or 1 : 2 : 3—Trihydroxybenzene), CeH3 (OH) 3.—This "is
a white, odourless, crystalline powder, which melts at 132° C., and is soluble in water,
alcohol and ether. In an alkaline solution it rapidly absorbs oxygen and darkens in
colour. It is used as a reducing agent in the dye and photographic industries.

Pyrogallic acid acts as a poison when it is swallowed or when it is applied to the
skin. When absorbed into the system, it destroys the red blood corpuscles, and forms
methaemoglobin in the blood. The chief symptoms are dyspnoaa, vomiting, diarrhoea, dark-
coloured urine containing haemoglobin and methaemoglobin, low temperature, paralysis,
collapse and death.

Treatment—This consists in the washing out of the stomach, administration of
stimulants and oxygen by inhalation and maintenance of external warmth.

Chemical Tests.—Pyrogallic acid produces a reddish-brown colour with ferric
chloride, a bluish-black colour -with ferrous sulphate and a purple colour with lime-

ThymoL—This is a phenol obtained from the volatile oils of Thymus vulgaris.
Monarda punctata or Trachyspermum Ammi. It occurs in colourless crystals with
characteristic pungent odour and taste. It is almost insoluble in water and readily
soluble in alcohol, in ether, and in caustic alkalis. The dose is J to 2 grains and 15 to

32.   Semple, Brit. Med. Jour., Oct. 24, 1925, p. 774.

33.   William Hartigan, Brit. Med. Jour., Nov. "24, 1900, p. 1498.

34.   Trans. Med.-Leg. Society,-VoL YE, p. 92.