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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"



• The use of carbon monoxide for homicidal poisoning is very rare,
Ithough a few cases have been recorded. A murderer may turn on a gas
ap when his victim is asleep in his bedroom, and thus suffocate torn to
leath without disturbing him.

The elimination of the gas from the blood after the patient has been
•emoved from the atmosphere containing carbon monoxide is very sngm ror
he first hour and-a-half, but becomes rapid after that and provided the
patient lives, all the carbon monoxide would have been eliminated from nve
;o six hours.11                                                                                         .

A case12 is  recorded in which the post-mortem  appearances which
simulated very closely those of carbon monoxide poisoning were due to tne
formation of nitric-oxide-hasmoglobin  (nitroxyhamoglobm)  ^ deatn.   A
man employed at a colliery in stoking the boiler furnaces died after an illness
of nine days.   At the post-mortem examination held within a tew hours,
the whole of the blood, in whatever part of the body, mcludmS ™\£S
spleen, kidneys, muscles and lungs, had a bright red colour exactly sgiar
to that seen in death from carbon monoxide.   The blood also responded _to
the usual tests of carboxyhaemoglobin.   Hence a verdict was &^ *=**
inquest that the death was due to carbon monoxide poisoning.   ^n wrtner
investigation it was, however, found that the red colour of the blood was
due to the development of nitric-oxide-hsemoglobm probably by the^ action
of a nitrifying infective organism in the body.   A solution of *e bloo™t
taining nitric-oxide-haemoflobin can be distinguished  by boihng,  ™cert
gives! pink coagulum, while the blood containing oxyhaemoglobin and car
boxyhasmoglobin gives a dull grey coagulum.                                 t,   M    j

Carbon monoxide retards putrefaction, and may be detected mthe blood
several days after death from ppisoning by this gas. Autenrieth J^
carbon monoxide in the blood of an adult two months ^J^tSwSto

the conclusion from investigations carried out on rats in Jan    J         ^

in cases of deaths by carbon monoxide the organs begin to decomp
the third day and the blood, after the fourth day.

. This is a  colourless, highly refractive, volatile   Cm^vdtTa'blTe ffcme, forming

. This is a  colourless, highly retractive, voi^, »-         ^     w     flame> tormmg

odour.   It boils at 46°C    Being highly^ inflammablejrt *£rns ™          freely ^^

carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide    It 1S not ""^"J^fly and most of the essential
alcohol, ether, chloroform, hydrocarbons of the .^cTndia-rubber, phosphorus, sulphur,

os.        s us                                                                 es

etc., and for extracting essential oils, spxces and perfu* i   -                            ^ or froln

Acute Poisoning-This form of poisoning occurs from swauovnng tne
inhaling its vapour.                                                                      ...      headache  giddi-

Symptoms-Intense burning pain in &« throat^ n^' v^d d^p skin, laboured
ness, drowsiness, unconsciousness, dilated pupils, ^^aisulphide in the breath, urine


n,                 ,                        ,

respirations, muscular weakness and odour of c^

and fasces.   These are followed by convulsions, coma          ___ _

11.   Henderson, Brit. Med. Jour., Jan. 9, 1326, p. 45 ; Douglas J. Kerr, Ibid., Marc

14    Deut. Zeit f. A. *&$. fferichtl: Mear, 1933,
1934, Vol. H, Part I, p. 95.