SPHERE OF ACTION
The poison generated in the putrefaction of meat.
Drs. Bergman and Schmiedeberg have communicated to the Centralblatt (German), an account of the isolation of a crystalline substance, which they believe is the proper poison generated in putrefactive fermentation. This poison, the terror of the dissecting room, has hitherto been known only by its effects. The substance which these chemists have succeeded in isolating, they call the Sulphate of Sepsin. The London Lancet gives the following details of its preparation: It is obtained by diffusion through parchment paper, precipitation with corrosive sublimate, removal of the mercury by silver, of the silver, by sulphuretted hydrogen; evaporation and purification of the residue.
Large, well defined, acicular needles are thus obtained, which are deliquescent in the air, and melt and carbonize when exposed to heat. They possess a powerfully poisonous action. A solution containing scarcely more than one hundredth of a gramme, was injected into the veins of two dogs, vomiting was immediately induced, and after a short time diarrhoea, which in the course of an hour became bloody. After nine hours the animals were killed, and on examination, their stomachs and large intestines were found ecchymosed, and the small intestine congested. Frogs could be killed in the same manner.
I have copied this article entire from the Scientific American, believing that it will prove a remedy equal to Arsenicum, in usefulness, which it so closely resembles in action. I regret that I have not been able to procure any of this poison as yet, but hope that I will soon have some from Germany.
From the many cases of poisoning we have, in the dissecting room and elsewhere, of this poison, a good proving could now be collected.