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Articles from Aids To Forensic Medicine And Toxicology

Duration Of Pregnancy

Personal Identity


Incised Wounds And Those Accompanied By Solution Of Continuity

Hydrochloric Acid

Tobacco And Lobelia

Treatment Of Poisoning

Presumption Of Death; Survivorship


Mercury And Its Preparations

Antipyrine Antifebrin Phenacetin And Aniline

Many of the synthetical coal-tar products now so largely employed as
analgesics are powerful toxic agents.

=Phenazone, Antipyrine, or Analgesin=, is a complex benzene derivative
prepared from aniline, aceto-acetic ether, and methyl iodide. It is in
colourless, inodorous, scaly crystals, which have a bitter taste. It is
soluble in its own weight of water.

Tests.--Can be extracted from an alkaline solution of chloroform. The
residue left on the evaporation of chloroform should be employed for
testing. If heated with strong nitric acid and allowed to cool, a purple
colour is produced. Ferric chloride gives a blood-red coloration,
destroyed by the addition of mineral acids.

Treatment.--Stimulants freely, inhalation of oxygen, patient to be
kept in the recumbent position.

=Acetanilide, Antifebrin, Phenylacetamide= (a constituent of 'Daisy' or
'headache' powders), is obtained by the interaction of acetic acid and
aniline. It is in colourless, inodorous, lamellar crystals, which have a
slight pungent taste. It is insoluble in water.

Tests.--May be extracted from acid solutions by ether or chloroform.
If heated with solution of potassium hydroxide, odour of aniline is
given off; if liquid, when it is warmed with a few drops of chloroform,
a penetrating and unpleasant odour of isocyanide.

Treatment.--Emetics, stimulants, inhalation of ether, recumbent

=Phenacetin, Phenacetinum=, is produced by the interaction of glacial
acetic acid and para-phenetidin. It is in white, tasteless, inodorous,
glistening, scaly crystals, insoluble in water. Of all the members of
the group, it most rarely produces toxic symptoms.

Treatment.--As for the other members of this group.

=Exalgin, Aspirin, etc.=, as well as the above, may all act as poisons
to certain persons, and even small medicinal doses may cause serious and
even fatal consequences.

Symptoms (more or less common to all).--Nausea, vomiting, hurried
respiration, marked cyanosis, syncope. Persistent sneezing and
widespread urticaria may be present; collapse.

=Aniline= is an oily liquid, heavier than, and not soluble in, water. It
is colourless or reddish-brown; it has a peculiar tar-like odour; it is
soluble in alcohol, and forms a soluble sulphate with sulphuric acid. A
solution of bleaching-powder gives with solution of the sulphate a
purple colour changing to red-brown.

Symptoms.--Nausea, vomiting, giddiness, intoxication, drowsiness,
gasping for breath, feeble pulse, and marked cyanosis. In its
industrial use it may act as a poison either by inhalation of the
fumes or by absorption through the skin. The symptoms then are mainly
those of peripheral neuritis with blindness.

Fatal Dose.--About 6 drachms.

Treatment.--Wash out stomach; stimulants, artificial respiration,
inhalation of oxygen, transfusion.

=Nitro-benzol= (Artificial Oil of Bitter Almonds).--It is used in
perfumery, but is very poisonous when swallowed, or inhaled, or absorbed
through skin. It is used in the manufacture of aniline dyes, and may act
as an industrial poison. The symptoms closely resemble those of aniline
poisoning, but there is perhaps greater mental confusion.

Fatal Dose.--Eight to ten drops have caused death.

Treatment.--Emetics, stimulants, transfusion of saline or blood,
pituitrin, strychnine, or digitalin hypodermically.

=Nitroglycerine= gives rise to intense and persistent headache ('powder
headache'). Throbbing and pulsation of all the arteries in the body;
flushing of the face and collapse may follow.

=Dinitrobenzene= causes symptoms resembling nitro-benzol poisoning, and
when acting as a chronic poison gives rise to weakness, jaundice,
peripheral neuritis.

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