484 MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE
Lime, slaked or unslaked, acts as a caustic, when used externally and
acts as a corrosive poison, when taken in a large quantity. The action is due
to the alkanity and not due to calcium.
Symptoms.—Severe burning pain in the throat and stomach, nausea,
vomiting, thirst, cold, clammy skin, rapid, feeble pulse, collapse and death
within 24 hours.
Treatment.—Same as in other alkaline corrosives. For lime burn of the
eye immediate vigorous washing with water for half an hour is recommended
after instilling cocaine eye-drops to counteract severe blapharospasm. To
remove lime from the cornea a freshly mixed solution of 2 ounces of ammo-
nium tartarate in one pint of distilled water is useful. After cleaning the eye
homatropin eye-drops should be put followed by liquid paraffin drops after
a $ew minutes.66
Post-mortem Appearances.—There may be congestion of the mucous
membrane of the stomach and intestines.
Medico-Legal Points.—Lime may be taken accidentally or with suicidal
intent. The dust from lime kilns may get into the eyes and cause corrosion
of the eyes. It may also be inhaled and cause irritation of the respiratory
In his annual report for the year- 1947, the Chemical Examiner, Bengal,
mentions the case of an undertrial prisoner who committed suicide by taking
some calcium hydroxide. He had severe vomiting and died in 2J hours.
66. J. IX P. Graham, Brit. Med. Joun, April 16, 1955, p. 964.