methcemoglobin which combines with free cyanide, thereby removing it from
In poisoning by inhalation of hydrocyanic acid gas remove the patient
from the source of intoxication and start artificial respiration and give by
inhalation oxygen. Inject coramine intravenously, if the case is very serious.
Post-mortem Appearances.—The skin presents a livid or violet colour.
Post-mortem stains are often bright red or pink due to the formation of
cyanmethsemoglobin and also due to the fact that the tissues cannot take up
the oxygen of the blood, leaving it bright red even in the veins. The fingers
are clenched, the finger-nails are blue, the jaws are firmly closed and there
is froth at the mouth. The eyes may be bright, glistening and prominent
with dilated pupils. Rigor mortis sets in early and lasts longer.
Fig. 200.—Stomach in poisoning by potassium cyanide.
(From the Pathological Museum, Grant Medical College^ Bombay.)
The odour of hydrocyanic acid may be noticed on opening the body,
There may be bloody froth in the trachea and bronchi. The right side of
the heart is full and engorged with venous blood, which is fluid and bright
red. The lungs are congested. The serous cavities are ecchymosed,
In poisoning by hydrocyanic acid, the mucous membrane of the stomach
and duodenum is often red and congested, although it may be normal in
some cases. In cases where potassium cyanide has been taken, the lips and
mouth may be corroded, and the mucous membrane of the stomach and
duodenum may be bright red, inflamed, softened, and even ulcerated, At
the autopsy on the body of a Hindu male, 25 years old, who committed sui-
cide by taking potassium cyanide on July 13, 1932, I found that the face
was flushed, the eyes were congested and the lips and finger-nails were livid.
The brain and its membranes were congested, The mucous membrane of
the larynx, trachea and bronchi was red, congested and covered with froth,
The lungs were dark red, congested and exuded dark, frothy blood from the
cut surfaces. -The pericardium was congested and the chambers of the heart
contained blood. The mucous membrane of the oesophagus was red with