Articles from Aids To Forensic Medicine And Toxicology
Examination Of Persons Found Dead
Poisonous Fungi And Toxic Foods
Death By Drowning
Duration Of Pregnancy
Antimony And Its Preparations
=Tartar Emetic= (tartarized antimony, potassio-tartrate of antimony)
occurs as a white powder, or in yellowish-white efflorescent crystals.
Vinum antimoniale contains 2 grains to a fluid ounce of the wine.
Symptoms.--Metallic taste, rapidly followed by nausea, incessant
vomiting, burning heat and pain in stomach, purging. Dysphagia, sense of
constriction in throat, intense thirst, cramps, faintness, profound
depression; in fatal cases, giddiness and tetanic spasms. In chronic
poisoning, nausea, vomiting and purging, weak pulse, loss of appetite,
debility, cold sweats, great prostration, progressive emaciation. The
symptoms in chronic poisoning may simulate gastritis or enteritis.
Externally applied, it produces an eruption not unlike that of smallpox.
Post-Mortem Appearances.--Inflammation, softening, and an aphthous
condition of the throat, gullet, and stomach, the last reddened in
patches. In chronic poisoning, inflammation also of cæcum and colon.
Brain and lungs may be congested. Decomposition is hindered for long.
Treatment.--Promote vomiting by warm greasy water, or the stomach-tube
may be used. Cinchona bark or any preparation containing tannin, as tea,
decoction of oak bark, etc. Morphine to allay pain.
Fatal Dose.--In an adult 2 grains (same as arsenic).
Fatal Period.--Death follows in eight to twelve hours, from
Method of Extraction from the Stomach.--The contents of the stomach or
its coats should be finely cut up and boiled in water, acidulated with
tartaric acid and subjected to dialysis, or strained and filtered. Pass
hydrogen sulphide through the filtered or dialyzed fluid until a
precipitate ceases to fall; collect the sulphide thus formed, wash and
dry it. Boil the orange-coloured sulphide in a little hydrochloric
acid. If the solution be now added to a large bulk of water, the white
oxychloride is precipitated, which is soluble in tartaric acid and
precipitated orange yellow with hydrogen sulphide. The chloride of
bismuth is also precipitated white, but the precipitate is not soluble
in tartaric acid, and the precipitate with hydrogen sulphide is black.
Tests.--Soluble in water, but not in alcohol.
Heated in substance, it crepitates and chars; and if heat be increased,
the metal is deposited. Treated with sulphuretted hydrogen, a
characteristic orange-red sulphide is formed.
A drop of the solution evaporated leaves crystals, either tetrahedric,
or cubes with edges bevelled off. Sulphuretted hydrogen passed through
gives the orange-red precipitate above named. Dilute nitric acid gives a
white precipitate, soluble in excess, and also in tartaric acid. Marsh's
and Reinsch's processes are applicable for the detection of antimony,
but Reinsch's is the better. Reinsch's process gives a violet deposit
instead of the black, lustrous one of arsenic.
=Chloride of Antimony= (Butter of Antimony).--A light yellow or dark red
Symptoms.--Violet corrosion and irritation of the alimentary canal,
with the addition of narcotic symptoms. After death the mucous membrane
of the entire canal is charred, softened, and abraded.
Treatment.--As for tartar emetic; magnesia in milk.
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