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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

674

MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE

seeds, especially when crushed, as they produce gastric irritation.   A bitter
taste   dryness  of  the mouth  and  throat,  burning  pain  in  the   stomach,
dysphagia and difficulty in talking are the first symptoms that are  com-
plained of.   These are followed by giddiness, staggering gait, inco-ordmation
of the muscles, peculiar flushed appearance of the face, dry, hot skin with
a rise in temperature, diplopia, dilated pupils with loss of accommodation
for near vision, red and injected conjunctivse and drowsiness.    Sometimes,
a scarlatinal rash or exfoliation of the skin is seen over most of the body,
and the temperature is raised very high.   In three cases of poisoning m the
District of Hissar the temperatures were noted 105,4 , 107.4    and 108 F.
respectively.1   In three cases which came under my observation in the King
George's Hospital, Lucknow, during 1932, the temperatures were found to
be 102°, 104° and 105°F. respectively.   The pulse is full and bounding, but
later becomes weak, irregular and intermittent.   The patient now becomes
restless and delirious.   Delirium is of a peculiar character.   He is silent or
mutters indistinct and inaudible words but, usually he is noisy, tries to run
away from his bed, picks at the bed clothes, tries to pull imaginary threads
from the tips of his fingers, and is subject to dreadful hallucinations of sight
and hearing.   In fatal cases drowsiness passes into stupor, convulsions and
coma.   Death occurs from paralysis of the heart or respiration.    In cases,
which recover, stupor passes away, and secondary delirium develops, which
lasts for some hours.

Fig. 152.—Datura Alba :  Fruits.

In some cases insensibility occurs almost immediately after the poison
is administered either in solution, or in very fine powder. A man. drank
two mouthfuls of a liquid poisoned with datura, complained of a bitter taste
and fell down insensible within forty yards of the spot where he had drunk,
and did not recover his senses until the third day. Another man was struck
down so suddenly that his feet were scalded by some hot water which he
was carrying.2

1.   Black, Punjab Chemical Examiner's Annual Report
2*   Chevers, Med. Juris* Ed. m, p. 210.