Skip to main content

Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

See other formats

504                                               MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE

membrane is found finely injected and pale violet coloured, arid presents
signs of inflammation with submucous haemorrhages along its whole length,
but .more marked in the duodenum and jejunum. These changes are similar
to those in the stomach, but less intense. The epithelium is flabby,
oedematous and sheds freely.

The large intestine contains a small quantity of seromucus, but more
often is empty and contracted. The caecum and rectum are inflamed, and
their mucous membrane is flabby. The intestinal glands are often enlarged
and swollen, but not inflamed. The peritoneum is congested and pink in

Sometimes, 'in fatal cases the stomach and intestines may not show any
signs of inflammation. Rai Chuni Lai Bose Bahadur reports a case in which
a child of eight years died within six hours after taking some molasses mixed
with arsenic. At the post-mortem examination the stomach was found
congested, but the intestines were healthy, and contained semi-solid healthy
faecal matter.8 A woman died in Agra from the symptoms of irritant poison-
ing. Post-mortem examination did not show any signs of irritant poisoning,
but arsenic was detected in the viscera.9 In Moradabad, a man, aged SO*
years, died with the symptoms of irritant poisoning after 6 hours of the onset
of the symptoms. Post-mortem examination failed to reveal any definite
signs of poisoning but suggested early pneumonia. On chemical analysis the
viscera were found to contain arsenic.10 In an Etawah case two ladies, one,
aged 22, and the other, aged 70, were found dead in their house at about
midnight under suspicious circumstances. On enquiry it was found that
some rapidly-acting poison was responsible for the deaths. On analysis the
poison found in the viscera of both the ladies was arsenic, the quantity in
the case of the young lady being 9.31 grains (of which 9.26 grains were in
the stomach), and in that of the other only 0.0076 grain. The post-mortem
appearances were not, however, indicative of acute arsenical poisoning. The
intestines of both the ladies contained faecal matter, and the stomach of both
contained digested food, it being about one seer (two pounds) in the case of
the young lady.11

The liver, spleen and kidneys are highly congested, enlarged, and may
show signs of fatty Infiltration and degeneration.                 >*~*~>~~

Arsenic has been known to penetrate through the walls of the stomach
and has appeared on the liver, omentum and endocardium. Rai Chuni Lai
Bose Bahadur reports a case of arsenical poisoning in which a deposit of
yellow arsenic was found on the internal surfaces of both the ventricles.12

The lungs are congested with subpleural ecchymoses.

I^thjsJdas of the heart contain loosely coagulated blood, and ecchymoses
are often present under the endocardium, and in the muscle of the left ven-
tricle. In a large number of fatal cases of arsenical poisoning I have found
petechial haemorrhages on the internal surface of the pericardium and
ecchymosed patches in the endocardium and muscle of the left ventricle.
These signs are typical of poisoning by arsenic, although they are sometimes
found in poisoning by phosphorus and barium and also in deaths from acute
infectious diseases, e.g. influenza.

In cases where life is prolonged for some time, cloudy swelling and fatty
degeneration of the myocardium, liver and kidneys are seen.

8.    Ind. Med. Gaz., Oct. 1907, p. 393.

9.    United Provinces Chemical Examiner's Annual Report, 1924, p, 5.

10.    Ibid., 1925, p. 3.

11.    United Provinces  Chemical Examiner's- Annual Report, 1930;  Leader,  June 14,
1931, p. 14.

12.    Ind. Med. Gaz., May 1892, p, 142-