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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

ARSENIC

Internal Appearances.—The mucous membrane of the mouth, pharynx
and oesophagus is not generally affected, but may occasionally be found
inflamed or ulcerated.

In the case of a man who died after taking two gulps of a weed-killer,
post-mortem examination revealed slight blistering of the lips, and the
mucous membrane, which was covered with slimy mucus, presented patches
of injection ( " crimson plush " ) at the lower end of the oesophagus.7 I found
the oesophagus congested and inflamed in a case in which a Mahomedan
male committed suicide with arsenic.

The stomach is the chief organ that exhibits characteristic post-mortem
changes even if arsenic has been administered by means other than the
mouth. These changes, however, depend on the quantity of arsenic taken,
and the time that has elapsed since its administration.

On opening, the stomach contains articles of food in a process of diges-
tion mixed with gritty, sandy particles of arsenic, or a dark-brown, odourless,

Fig. 167. — The stomach in acute poisoning by Arsenic.
(From the Pathological Museum , Grant Medical College, Bombay.)

turbid  and unctuous  liquid with

embedded in large

^^

masses of mucus. The inner wall of thelstomach, which is swollen, softened
and congested, is generally tinged with streaks of blood and white particles.
of arsenic are embedded in the tough mucus or lymph covering it On,
scraping this mucus, the mucous membrane is found highly congested and
inflamed wholly or in many small patches, its colour varying from brownish-
red or bright scarlet to vermilion. CraLgest^>n is due to petechial haemorrh-
ages from the minute vessels most^^^Sed along the crests of the rugae.
Inflammation is more marked at the greater curvature, posterior part and
the cardiac end of the stomach. Ulceration of its mucous membrane has
been noticed- if arsenkris given in a very crude form. Gangrene arid per-
foration have also been observed in rare instances.              ^ "

n^iPj^m^]! infellfotfr appears dabby and contains large flakes of
with  very   Mtfle   fecal  inatter.    On   opening   the   intestine,   the



7.   Wilfrid, A. Aldred, Brit Med. Jow% Sep. H 1m, p, 62&