CHEMISTRY, PHARMACY, AND MATERIA MEDICA.

CHEMISTRY, PHARMACY, AND MATERIA MEDICA.

414 1d’Senic (half à tablespoonful) was The stomach- swallowed. pump was indirectly useful, for the sight of it produced vomiting more than once...

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414 1d’Senic (half à tablespoonful)

was

The stomach-

swallowed.

pump was indirectly useful, for the sight of it produced vomiting more

than

once.

As one large teaspoonful was retained in the stomach more than two hours, it is probable that the iron had some chemical effect upon the arsenic whilst passing through the alimentary canal. Jannary,

1845.

CHEMISTRY, PHARMACY,

WE present to our readers, in continuation of our remarks on the case of Tawell, the following history of the epileptic patients in Paris, to which allusion has been so often made :In the year 1830, hydrocyanic syrup was prescribed to seven epileptic patients, (in one of the hospitals of Paris.) This syrup, which the physician intended to contain l3oth part of hydroto

Magendie’s formula,

was

prepared,

with a

brain rather softer than in the natural state; in every other respect healthy, as well as likewise the spinal cord; the mucous membrane of the bladder white; that of the pharynx and aesophagus likewise white. No part exhaled the peculiar odour aof prussic acid ;* no signs of putrefaction were observed ; all the bodies were stiff. UNGUENTDM HYDRARGYRI NITRATIS.

AND

MATERIA MEDICA.

cyanic acid, according

disappear upon washing the rarts ; the bronchial tubes fillet frothy and sanguinolent liquid; the membranes of the brain ingested; the sinus of the dura mater gorged with a pretty considerable quantity of black and fluid blood; the tissue of the

not

at

the Pharmacie Centrale, with nine parts of sugar syrup and one part of medicinal acid, in conformity with the formula of the ancient codex. Every one of the seven patients, having taken 11 grammes and 50 centigrammes of this syrup, accordingly swallowed 1 gramme and 15 centigrammes of medicinal acid. This dose is enormous, and such as the strongest constitu. tion could not resist. The formula of the codex was evidently monstrous, and it became a matter of urgent necessity to replace it by that which the majority of medical practitioners at Paris were in the habit of using, and which admitted only part of prussic acid into the composition of hydrocyanic syrup. This substitution has been effected since, and there is no fear now that such deplorable mistakes will ever happen again. Seven minutes after the administration of the hydrocyanic yanic syrup, the seven patients were found stretched on their beds in a state of perfect unconsciousness; all of them had been attacked by convulsions. The respiration was loud and hurried, the mouth foamed, the body was covered with sweat, the pulse was frequent. This general excitement was soon succeeded by relaxation and sinking, which increased rapidly, though gradually, and finally terminated in death. The respiratory movements decreased in frequency and extent; the pulse became every minute slower and weaker; the sweat and the extremities became cold, and In some of the patients, the face and the death supervened. teguments of the skull were strongly ingested, whilst in others they were very pale; the pupils were generally rather dilated. It does not appear that there was any vomiting. One of the patients only made violent efforts to vomit, shortly before death. It was intended to give a very hot foot-bath to the patients, but the majority of them expired before the application of this remedy. One of them, however, lived longer than the rest; his legs were immersed in hot water; soon after he was suddenly seized with very violent general convulsions, under the influence of which he threw his legs out of the bath by an extremely sudden movement. He evidently felt the heat of the water, since the expression of his face, one moment before the invasion of the convulsions, denoted great and acute pain, whilst acceleration of the respiration was observed at the same time. The face, the conjunctivse, and the whole head, were most strongly ingested. A vein was opened largely; black and very fluid blood flowed from it; the flowing ceased as soon as the walls of the vein collapsed, (upon loosening the ligature.) The patient expired whilst efforts were being made to restore the flowing of the blood. The first of the seven patients died after the lapse of from fifteen to twenty minutes; the last, after the lapse of forty-five minutes. MM. Adelon, Marc, and Marjolin dissected the bodies, and found the following pathological alterations in every one of them, varying simply in distinctness and intensity :-Manifest inflammation of the mucous membrane of the stomach and of the small intestine, with a remarkable development of the mucous crypts of this membrane; slight ingestion of the subperitoneal cellular tissue of the stomach and small intestine; the spleen softened, and in some instances reduced to a pappy tissue ; the veins of the liver filled with a pretty large ’quantity of black and fluid blood; the veins of a dark-violet colour, slightly softened, gorged with blood, and readily admitting of the removal of their external membrane. The heart of a pretty firm tissue, and quite empty; the large arteries empty, the large veins, on the contrary. gorged with ’very fluid blood, of black colour; the blood fluid in every part of the body where it was found, and without showing the slightest traces of coagulation; the mucous membrane of the larynx, trachea, and bronchial tubes, of a dark red, which did

A paper on this preparation appears in the jP/
observed, " he could

not

omit to express his satisfaction in

receiving this as the first paper which had emanated from the practical school within their own walls. The author was a pupil in the practical department of the school.... He thought the

paper was very creditable to the author; it contained matter of considerable practical value." The paper consists of a series of experiments, undertaken with a view to determine whether the formula of the London Pharmacopoeia will produce a good ointment, and how far it may be

departed from.

Experiments 1, 2, 3, consisted in following the Pharmacopeeia: 1, by using exactly the quantities ordered; 2, in making onesixteenth of the quantity; 3, twelve times the quantity-the

results being ointments equally good. In the 4th experiment, the lard was contaminated with chloride of sodium, " the result was equally good in appearance and consistence;" in the 5th, " the firstexperiment was repeated, but the mercury was purposely cont26minated with lead-the result was equally good." In experiment 6, the acid used was of commercial strength-a perfectly good ointment was produced. Experiments 7, 8, 9, and 10, were look " equally good" attempts to make old and spoiled ointments to new. Experiment 11, the same, " repeated with samples of old ointment, obtained at different establishments, which had become hard, discoloured, or pulverulent, some of which had been made by the Pharmaeopceia process, and some by private formula; two specimens had been made with butter; they were The inferences all restored to ointment of average quality." from these experiments are obvious- unguentum hydrargyrinitratis may be made of impure mercury, containing lead, and a different to those ordered by the great many other ingredients, Pharmacopceia, and yet be " good in appearance," and a saleable article. No doubt of it; and the same may be done with almost every preparation: the physical appearance of tinctures, ointments, extracts, &c., may be easily imitated in various ways. ... MM. Gay-Lussac and Orfila detected the odour of prussic acid eight days afterwards, in the contents found in the stomachs of the subjects.

SECRETION AND PROPERTIES OF BILE.

" A series of experiments by SCHWANN has led to the distinct conclusion of the bile being indispensable to life. They consisted in removing a portion of the common bile-duct, and establishing.an external fistulous opening into the gall-bladder, so that the bile might be naturally secreted, but be discharged externally, and not permitted to euter the intestine. Their general result was, that of eighteen dogs thus operated on, ten died of t he immediate consequences of the operation, (by peritonitis and other affections, aggravated, probably, by the want of bile;) and of the remaining eight, two recovered, and six died. In the six which died, death was the result of nothing but the removal of the bile; after the third day, they daily lost weight, and had all the signs of inanition-e. g., emaciation, muscular debility, uncertain gait, falling of the hair. They lived from seven to sixty-four days after the operation; and the inanition was the greater the longer they survived. Young dogs appeared to die rather sooner than old ones. Licking the bile as it flowed from the fistula, and swallowing it, had no influence on the consequences of the operation. In the two dogs that recovered, the importance of the bile was equally well shewn; for in these it was found, when they were killed, that the passage for the bile into the intestine had been restored, and the period of its restoration was distinctly marked by their weight (which had previously been regularly decreasing) being augmented, and continuing to increase till it amounted to what it was before the operation; and also by.the fistulous opening into the gall-bladder healing, and the discharge of bile ceasing."-British and 1%oreign Review. Acute endocarditis is very seldom seen as an independent disease; in the majority of cases it accompanies or follows .peri carditis, and it very frequently complicates the latter affection. when it arises during the course of acute articular rheumatism.