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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

£34                                                 MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE

General Behaviour.—State of clothing (whether soiled by vomiting or
incontinance). Character of speech—thick, slurred or over-precise. Evi-
dence of self-control, memory particularly of the previous few hours and
mental alertness. Character of handwriting.

Pulse,—Temperature.    Skin—dry or moist.

Mouth.—State of the tongue—dry, moist, furred or bitten.

State of teeth—any artificial teeth.

Smell of the breath—any hiccup.

Eyes.—Appearance of the conjunctivas and the lids.

Reaction of pupils to light. Size—dilated or pinpoint. Condition of
extrinsic muscles regarding convergence, strabismus and nystagmus—fine
lateral nystagmus suggests alcoholic intoxication.

Ears.—Impairment of hearing, etc.

Gait.—Manner of walking and turning (note any lurching or reeling).
Ability to stand with both eyes open'and closed.

Muscular co-ordination.—Finger to nose test, picking up medium-sized
objects from the floor, lighting a cigarette with a match, etc.

Reflexes—Knee and Ankle.

Examine heart, lungs and abdomen and record blood pressure. Urine
and blood samples for laboratory investigation may be taken.

IV. In giving an opinion the doctor should confine himself to giving
his opinion on the condition of the person at the time of examination. The
Committee recommends that, except in special circumstances, urine should
be the body fluid used for alcohol estimation.

Section 84 of the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949 (Bombay Act No. XXV
of 1949), provides that any person, who is found drunk or drinking in a com-
mon drinking house, or is found there present for the purpose of drinking,
shall, on conviction, be punished with fine which may extend to five hundred
rupees. Section 85 provides that any person, who is found drunk and incap-
able of taking care of himself or behaves in a disorderly manner under the
influence of a drink in* any street or thoroughfare or public place or in any
place to which the public have or are permitted to have access, shall, on
conviction, be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to
one to three months and with fine which may extend to two hundred to five
hundred rupees.

METHYL ALCOHOL (WOOD ALCOHOL OR SPIRIT, PYROXYLIC SPIRIT,
METHANOL OR WOOD NAPHTHA), CHaOH

This is formed by the destructive distillation of wood or molasses. It is a colour-
less, mobile liquid, having a peculiar, nauseating odour and a burning taste, and boiling
at 64/7 °C. It mixes with water in all proportions. It burns with a pale blue, non-
luminous flame, and its vapour forms an explosive mixture with air or oxygen* It is
largely used as a solvent and in the manufacture of organic dyes and varnishes. It is
also used to render rectified spirit unpalatable for trade purposes ; this mixture is known
as industrial methylated spirit, and is used in arts and manufactures under the name
of denatured alcohol or spirit. With a view to making denatured spirit nauseating and
abhorrent for potable use the Government of Bombay State have ordered that from the
first October 1949 its present denaturing ingredients, namely 0.5 per cent caoutchoucine
and^0,5 per cent pyridine should be supplemented by 0.5 per cent naphthalene. This
spirit, if used for potable purposes, will produce poisonous symptoms, which may prove
fatal. They have further ordered that after the first November 1949 all bottles, jars
and casks containing denatured spirit shall bear a label printed in red marked " Poison "
with skull and cross bones in tixe centre and a warning " For external use only, not to
be taken internally" in English and the regional language of the district.

Symptoms.—These may appear within an hour or after an interval of several hours.
They are characterized by dizziness, weakness, headache, vertigo, nausea, vomiting,