Hydrofluoric acid, HFl. Product of action of sulphuric acid on fluor spar (fluoride of calcium).
1a. Dr. HERING smelt at acid, 5 p. m. It appeared to him to proceed from throat to head. He felt as if he was to be struck with apoplexy, a kind of determination of blood to head and loss of consciousness, he could not recollect where he was. There followed sore throat, with difficult deglutition; his throat, as far as below larynx, felt so sore that bread, though masticated very thoroughly, could not be swallowed without the greatest pain. This lasted till next m. after breakfast, before which there was hawking up of much phlegm, mixed with some blood.
1b. Took a teaspoonful of 3rd dil. one afternoon. Immediately sensation of warmth on lips and greasy feeling in mouth. In 5 minutes headache in upper forehead and vertex towards right; in 10 minutes slight feeling of nausea and vertigo; in 15 minutes painful sensibility of right upper jaw, reflected, as it were, in lower. 1 hour after had come dullness towards right in occiput; violent jerking in interior behind and above right eyebrow, in bone; some pain in abdomen after a meal of fish and watermelon, which was quite bone; some pain in abdomen after a meal of fish and water-melon, which was quite unusual; and burning around first bone of right middle finger, with itching and stinging in skin. From 1 to 2 hours after supervened pain in larynx, as if in cartilage, inducing swallowing; slight numbness of right joint of lower jaw, a continual sensation of warmth, and as if it would begin to pain; burning pain on outside of right lower jaw on small spot near 1st and 2nd molar;burning pricking pain in left shoulder-blade; and pain in left arm above elbow. In evening pain in right instep, followed by slight numbness of right thigh, only when crossing legs; painful determination of blood to forehead, like a quick jerk, on first walking after standing, not after sitting; itching, inducing him to scratch, on both upper eyelids; sensation of fulness in both spermatic cords; creeping and severe itching on right shoulder, sometimes shifting to left; and general heat after little exercise (in night special warmth in abdomen, with pressure towards bladder). That evening also, and following morning, sensation almost like rush of blood, but rather as if of nervous seat, somewhat resembling numbness of burning, first in forehead, afterwards in upper and lower jaw of same side, in lower part of occiput, in bladder, and various other places. A cold bath in the morning was more than ordinarily agreeable. In forenoon of this (2nd) day he had, whilst sitting, a frequent sensation of a general shaking, with a dull pressure and compression in occiput, particularly towards night, with continual internal sensations of numbness in left forearm, and severe pricking in it whilst stretching it. The left hand also felt numb (was “asleep”) in morning, and remained so the whole forenoon. In the course of it came a disposition to anxious ideas, frequently to such a degree that perspiration broke out; sensation in right ear as if a singing would commence there; an almost painful electric jerk along left radius to thumb, which moves involuntarily; in fleshy part of left thumb violent burning stitch, often returning and passing out at the end, and beneath the nail painful sensation, as if something was gradually working its way out; in the left little finger a slowly jerking, repeated burning. During 2nd and 3rd day there was decidedly less voiding of urine. On 3rd day no stool; at 10 a. m. on the 4th indefinite ( sic ) desire, and pappy evacuation. On this and the following day both hands were constantly red (on 4th day full and warm also, and as if mottled) and from 10 to 11 p. m. there was violent pricking-itching on detached spots, mostly on left side, particularly on side of chest towards back, and on thigh. In evening this itching affected several cicatrices he had, dating from 32 to 2 years back, and all on left side; next morning they were red round their edges, and occupied here and their with itching vesicles. Those of more ancient date had larger vesicles; the later ones were filled with very small pimples, but only on cicatricial tissue, not on surrounding skin. During 4th day contraction in some muscles of neck on left side and towards shoulder, during forenoon, at rest and whilst rising, which after some resting gradually subsided. The pain seemed to shift from one set of muscles to another, but was always in more than one. The omohyoideus was markedly affected. He had also deep-seated pain in back, below point of shoulder blade more towards left, felt most in sitting posture, particularly whilst riding (also felt on 9th day); pricking, burning itching near coccyx, towards right; violent itching on different spots, especially back, increasing towards night, on this and the next day; on back and left hip groups of small red pimples appear. On 5th day, in morning lower incisor teeth have sensation of roughness, as if broken, and tongue feels painful on touching them (this continued several days); there was more urination, even twice in night, which is quite unusual with him, and more thirst; he had pain in left index finger, as if in bone, now and then the whole finger being painful internally, especially in evening, when also violent itching occurred, and small vesicles appeared on right index; at same time, on closing eyes firmly, he observed a large bright ring, which quickly vanished. On 6th day nothing fresh was noted; but on 7th (and following days) he had oppression in upper part of chest, not relieved by deep inspiration. On 8th and 9th, there was during forenoon, in the room and open air, a headache, a parietal bone. On 9th day it seemed in morning as if his countenance had become all at once wrinkled and old. For the first time he felt desire to scratch the head, without any actual itching; and next morning there was a great falling off of the hair Deep in the bones, superior and posterior to left eye, there was occasional soreness; and behind eye, towards temple, there had previously been in left nostril and forehead a pain, seemingly in bone, as if very deeply in interior something sharp- pointed was moved about. Later same pain occurred in posterior part of right eye, extending very far into upper jaw. There was also difficulty of breathing, seemingly from an impediment in region of pit of throat and upper chest; at same time aching pimples appeared on the back, and there was pain in chest below point of scapula. On this day and the following it is noted that the left leg readily went to sleep. On 10th day he had during his walk a very severe itching on throat and chest. Also in both joints of the jaws (worse in left), painful spasmodic contraction within and below was full, in forenoon while sitting and writing; and more itching and fresh pimples came on the back. On this day and the following, in lower part of entrance to fauces, towards left side, was a raw feeling, which, though little painful, he apprehended might prove serious. On 12th day violent itching at left inner canthus of eye, which caused him to scratch very quickly and forcibly, and itching above the anus, sudden and most violent, often returning for some days later. In evening itching on right nipple and around it; he nipple next morning much larger, redder, and the areola darker. A thin brownish crust then formed on the areola. On 13th day he first noticed several small light carmine red round elevated blood vesicles, resembling little flesh warts; they are very soft perceptible as light red enlargements of the capillaries, raising up the cuticle. They lie below the right nipple and on the opposing surface of the right arm. There weeks later some of the smaller ones had disappeared. The larger had become darker, somewhat resembling naevi materni; some are larger than before. After three months they are paler. They made their appearance and remained without any itching. On 15th day is noted aversion to coffee, and on 15th and 16th a very acrid and strong odour of the urine. On latter day a small pimple appeared on the right side of the face, and similar ones occurred there 5 weeks afterwards.
Besides this daily record, it seems that several times during the first days, while considering what might happen, he got into a most ungovernable rage, but only in his thoughts. During first week, he had after 10 a. m. a kind of shaking in the head, particularly in the back part of it, and more towards right, when first sitting, during each quick, short movement, on rising and turning, and during walking; also frequent itching in eyes, making him scratch, dull pains in region of bladder, more easily controlled and gradually diminishing sexual passion, and pain in back, sometimes high up near shoulder-blades sometimes deeply seated, as it were in region of kidneys. Every forenoon about 10 to 12 he became sleepy and tired. During first two weeks there was heat in face, and desire to bathe it with cold water, which was very grateful; and he became sleepy earlier in the evening. In 3rd week he had in evening after retiring a jerking light before eyes, crossing itself like lightning. During 4th week he was very irritable towards people, even to the greatest hatred, which he did not hesitate to give vent to in words; but as soon as he saw them everything was forgotten, and he had an entirely different opinion of them. He also had now and then in the evenings of this and the following weeks a pain resembling a contusion in the ends of the second fingers, as it were in the bones. As far as the 6th week, his urine frequently smelled very offensively; and at this period wheezing during respiration was noticed, rather by others than himself; though while taking his afternoon siesta, he found he had to bend backwards to draw a full breath. Still during this weak vesicles arose, larger and smaller, in groups, with very sensitive itching, on lunar side of right thumb and radial side of the neighboring index, leaving behind them dry scurfy spots. Even in 7th week he was remained of the drug by sensations as of a hair along the back of the left little finger, so that he repeatedly looked to see if one were not there. The following symptoms also are referred to the 3rd, but without note of time; – Great disposition, when alone, to repulsive fantastic imaginations, particularly with regard to persons with whom he stands in near relations, or with whom he is connected. Indifferent, showing no interest in any occupation. Sensation as if dangers menaced him, but without being afraid, particularly during the pressure in the occiput, the staggering, the pain in the bladder, etc. Sudden attacks of coryza, as suddenly disappearing (also after 6th and 30th.)
1c. The 6th and 30th were also proved, in what manner is not stated. The following symptoms are recorded as observed after the 6th:- In evening he is very discontented, and looks at everything in the worst light; in the morning, after a restless night, his temper is very cheerful and joyous. On making his notes he mistakes right and left, a circumstance that does not easily happen to him-2nd day. Dullness and painful tension in head towards night, 2nd days. In evening, after animated conversation, heat in face and headache, like a pressing and forcing deep interiorly towards left; appearing at times and subsiding again; it then passes to left upper jaw, as if teeth ached, even at those places where roots of teeth had been extracted a year ago – 2nd day. In chewing, taste like ink; seems to proved from a lower tooth on left side-2nd day. With diarrhoea, pain more particularly in region of navel-several hours. He feels as it the wind were retained in the anus. Before and after urination, pain in lower part of bladder, there is also pain on pressure-1st and 2nd days. Urination more frequent-several days. A violent, slightly burning, quick nervous pain proceeds from region of bladder down to right thigh, while lying in bed-1st days. Burning shooting pain, as if it were in nerve, from right hip downwards, particularly on inside of knee; further down less distinctly-2nd day. Violent itchings, and small pimples here and there.
1d. From the 30th, the following symptoms had been verified by lower attenuations:-With his usual good appetite, he nevertheless is soon satisfied. The evacuation becomes protracted, insufficient, and lumpy. On awaking, right upper arm and shoulder feel bruised and benumbed, after lying on left side- several days. (Materia Medica of American Provings.)
2. Dr. ESREY, after taking 1st, had sickness of stomach from 3 to 4 hours; after 2nd, had shooting pain in left forehead, increased lachrymation, soreness of wrists and pain in corns. (Ibid.)
3. Dr. FREITAG took 30th, followed by 6th. From latter attenuation are reported-Headache in forehead and temples. Behind right ear a pain which moves upward in head; at same time in right heel. Pain in right ear-4th days. Pain in right side of neck. Pressing pain in left arm, just above elbow, and numb pain down forearms to hands. Acute needle-pricks in fingers. Severe pains in all left toes save 1st after 8th dose; also pains, of short duration, in left leg, arm and hand. Pressure and sensation of lameness, particularly in hand, arm to elbow, and foot. After 30th occurred (confirmed by Hering’s experiment with 3rd) pimples on abdomen, but principally on thighs and legs, points of which soon formed a crust, and scaled off 17 days after commencing proving. (Ibid.)
4. Dr. HUSEMANN took 30th and 1st. From latter only symptom reported is – In evening of 2nd day, after retiring, on closing eyes red sparklings cross each other in all possible directions; this gradually ceases, and there remains a red flaming trembling for a few minutes, which disappears after opening eyes. Symptoms from 30th are mostly trivial, and the few noteworthy and unconfirmed. (Ibid.)
5. Dr. WALLTER WILLIAMSON took at 5 p. m. 20 drops of 5th. Immediately felt stunning sensation in head, most in front, and stiffness and soreness in nucha. At 10 took teaspoonful of 1 to 200 solution: in 15 minutes following symptoms appeared in succession, – compressing pain in right frontal eminence, dislocative pain in first joint of right little finger, drawing round left eye, pain in right outer ankle, heat in sole of right foot, deep-seated pain below right knee, with pain on inside, sticking under ribs to left of ensiform cartilage, trembling in right biceps. On 9th heavy pain in left half of head along coronal sutures. took another teaspoonful. Excessive languor, decidedly uncomfortable sensation in stomach. P. m.-Profuse sour offensive perspiration, free evacuation of bowels twice. On 10th, soreness in muscles of thighs, aching in right elbow-joint, lameness in left hip. On 11th, soreness and pain on motion in left hip, particularly felt on getting in and out of bed; elevated round and red blotches over eyebrows, most on left, but longer-lasting on right; in eyebrows some pityriasis, with pricking sensation. On 12th eruptions continued through day, but other symptoms were absent till evening, when he had pricking sensation in ends of index fingers, most in left, and in right thumb; penetrating pain in left side of left knee; aching in left elbow; crawling in sole of right foot; copious urine of pungent and strong odour; pain in right frontal eminence; aching in left index; dryness of left half of palate and roof of mouth. At night sweetish taste in throat, and deep-seated pain in left lumbar region. (Ibid.)
6. Dr. JEANES took 5 drops of 3rd. Immediately after, acid taste and greasy feeling in mouth. In 5 morning confusion and pain through head. In 8 minutes pain in inner condyle of left femur; in 45 minutes in right hip. In 2 hours burning feeling in sole of right foot. In 3 hours pain about right wrist and finger- joints, in first joints of toes of right foot, in right instep (with burning). There was, after taking dose, prickling of tongue and increase of saliva for some hour, with afterwards smarting feeling of palate, as if something very acid had been gargled; feeling of tenderness and irritability in larynx; coughing to clear throat causes feeling of soreness, which shows an unusual degree of sensibility. (Ibid.)
7. Dr. NEIDHARD took, at 9:30 a. m., 30 drops of 2nd. In a few minutes uneasiness about heart, in 15 minutes aching there; after 1 hour soreness and jerking, which in another hour became painful. With cardiac uneasiness began determination of blood to head, with heat in forehead, gradually increasing to frontal headache. Very soon eructation of wind and sickness at stomach; latter increasing upto 2 hours, with general heat, heaviness, and lameness. In 15 minutes slight lameness in right arm, and burning in eyes. Very soon, aching pain in sacrum, and during 1st and 2nd hours jerking there. In 1 hour rheumatic pain in bones of left arm, from elbow to shoulder, with lameness. In 2-3 hours pyrosis with nausea, heaviness above eyes and sick headache. In 3-4 hours pyrosis with nausea, heaviness above eyes and sick headache. In 3-4 hours violent burning pain in all the toes, so that he can hardly walk; soreness in chest. In 4 hours pressive headache in both temples; toothache, drawing in left lower jaw; still some sickness of stomach, with vertigo and headache; occasionally stitches and drawing through left testicle to abdominal ring and spermatic cord; oppression with pain in chest; small stitches in side; pain in right knee-joint with some in bones of right forearm. After dinner some bitter eructations. In evening headache in right forehead and itching in right internal canthus of eye; inclination to diarrhoea, two stools. Next day, afternoon, frequent acid educations, with pyrosis and passage of flatulence; pain in right upper arm in bone towards elbow, passing over to left; two hard stools. (Ibid.)
8. Mr. E. SMITH proved 1st and 2nd.
8 a. 5 minutes after taking 40 drops of 2nd, there commenced an increased flow of saliva, which caused him to spit constantly for about 10 minutes, when he began to feel a pain in head, a sensation as if head were too heavy, and would drop down from one side to the other, also a pressing outward from within; after this pain had commenced the flow of saliva began to diminish, and in about an hour ceased entirely. The feeling of heaviness in head continued in a diminished degree until going to bed: he awoke with it in morning, but it ceased at 9 a. m. On bending the head (stooping) on previous evening a dull, quick throbbing pain came in right temple, lasting only a short time.
8b. Soon after taking 1st, 6 p. m. 10 days later, there commenced the same salivation, with a dull heavy pain in whole head, slight fever heat under eyes, sickness of stomach with desire to vomit, heat in gums, later in pharynx. These feelings passed away in an hour. At 7:30 a dull heavy pain in upper part of forehead, passing sometimes to upper part of both temples, more particularly in left. This pain is increased on stooping. Shooting pain in bowels, as if from wind, sometimes very acute. Next morning there was rumbling there, with wandering pains. Dead feeling in right knee-joint. At 10:30 (other pains having ceased, save in head and knee), a sore pain left side of the chest, as if beneath skin, felt only on moving, and a similar pain in left scapula. He awoke in morning with a slight pain in forehead, which soon passed away. On getting up, pain in left chest, as yesterday. After breakfast, no pains save on quickly moving head, which caused aching all day. (Ibid.).
The local effects of the acid are those of a powerful corrosive caustic. This is seen in the case of fatal poisoning reported by King (Trans. of Path. Soc., xxiv, 98), where half an ounce caused violent vomiting, speedily followed by collapse, and death in 35 hours; in the instance given by Gruber (Oest. Medorrhinum Wochenschrift, N. S., ii, 2, 242), where a minute’s exposure of the hand to the vapour set up violent pain, inflammation, vesication, and suppuration, with fever; and in the experiments of Kreiner, who took solutions of various strength, which excited the objective and subjective symptoms of inflammation in mouth and throat, with vomiting, followed by nausea, eructations, and lassitude. (Ibid.).