THE INFLUENCE OF SNAKE
The bitten part was not merely excised as we speak of excising parts around the spot which the fane; had penetrated, but tho fold of skin into which the fangs had tho poison
hour tho animal
effects of the
immediately rubbed in,
self with another, and he was allowed to administer as much of a fluid resembling the former one, as he pleased. 3-37.
dog staggers as he walks ; another dose of the antidote administered by the Hakeem. 3-40.?Tho dog is slightly convulsed, pupils dilated, and limbs partially paralysed. The
3-42.?Unable to stand when
raised; is convulsed. 3-45. Quite paralysed. 3-48.?Dead?in 24 minutes. A gentleman who had believed, from some experiments performed under his own supervision, in tho efficacy of carbolic acid, witnessed this experiment, and was satisfied that the acid is powerless to counteract the deadly effects of the poison. Tho Hakeem also expressed his conviction that tho cobrabite is inevitably mortal. Neither of these agents, indeed, had tlie slightest effect, and the dog died very rapidly, considering its size and strength, and that the snake was not fresh. Experiment No. 2. bitten at 3-48 p.m. in tho thigh by another cobra, also not fresh like the first. A solution of tho powdered leaves of aristolochia indica, for which I am indebted of Mirzapore, was then administered, tho fang ii,.. ;
wounds having been previously thoroughly well rubbed with is staggering. 3-57.? strong carbolic acid. 3-52.?The dog in hind legs; paralysis 4-2.?Convulsed is Tho dog staggering. of limbs commencing. 4-10.?Convulsive twitchings of the muscles generally. 4-12.?Unconscious, and convulsed. 4-15.? Dead?in 19 minutes. Tho antidotes Tho
powerless on this occasion as on long been held in estimation
antidote ; it must, I fear, share tho fato of all tho others. Experiment No. 3.
dog had tho inguinal fold of integument raised with two pairs of forceps to stretch it. This was then bitten (at 3-56) by a cobra not fresh, and that had been in confinement for some time. The fangs must almost have the fold of integument. "With perforated the entire thickness of at once entirely excised, tho a sharp scalpel the fold of skin was bitten part being certainly included in that removed. 4-18.?Looks sluggish, but no positive indication of the action of the poison as yet manifested. 4-27.?Muscular tremors. 4-31.?Deep breathing ; lies, looking very sluggish. 4-40.? Very sluggish ; muscular twitchings. 4-45. ?Can hardly rise ; staggers and lies down again. 4-49.?In convulsions. 4-55.? A small white
interesting and very instructive experiment, clearly demonstrating the deadly nature of the virus and awful rapidity with which it passes into the circulation.
This was the
dead from the effects of tho
snake-poison. ExrEBIMENT No. 4.
taken from an old cobra, that is, from confinement, were mixed vvilh 4 parts of water, and injected liypoderinieally into a fowl's thigh at 4-2 p.m. 4-4.? Drooping ; cannot riso when roused ; comb and wattles becoming livid, losing their brilliant red color. 4-7..? Lying on its side; convulsed. 4-10.?Dead?in 8 miuutes. Diluting the poison with water has no effect in destroying its action. Death occurred in 8 minutes, and would havo probably occurred sooner, had tho poison been taken from a fresh snake. Two
Expeeiment No. 5. A fowl
bitten in tho carpus were deeply imbedded.
by a cobra at 4-12 p.m., Tho part was immediately fangs amputated at the carpal joint, and a ligature placed above to prevent haemorrhage. This is tho samo fowl that had precisely tho same experiment tried on it last Saturday and recovered. 4-55.?Fowl quite unaffected. At 7 p.m. of the 22nd the fowl and well. It had thus cscapod a second time, was still alive and is probably tlie only living creature that ever went through the ordeal of a eobra'3 second bite. It is evident that the immediate amputation of tho part the
saved the fowl's life. ExrEEIMENT No. C. A small cat was bitten in the tail
cobra at 4-27 p.m.
abovo tho bite in 20
seconds; this amputated part time was purposely allowed to elapse before tho operation. A ligature was applied to prevent serious hoeinorrhago. 4.47.?Th0 cat still seems unaffected, except that the breathing is hurried. 4-55.?Still vigorous, runs about, but breathes is hurriedly. 5-30 p.m.?Seems slightly affected ; breathing hurried. G p.m.?No further change. August 22nd, 8 a.m.? tho muco-sanguinoua Appears natural, but it is evident, from that tho cat has been nature of the excreta during the night, of tho poison. August 22nd, slightly under tho influence from pain ; no symptom of free well; appears 1 p.m.?Looks same. the poison beyond slight weakness. 7 p.m.?The is not tho also has ; experiment escaped animal This The
a vascular part. Still it is sugfresh, and tho tail is not very benefit to bo hoped for from early excision, and tho of gestive the operation may not altogether seems to show that, although
tho entry of tho poison into the circulation, yet that limit it to a degree in which it is not futal.
preclude it may
Experiment No. 7. Two
Dead?in 1 hour. most
poison through tho circulation, beyond the reach of incision ; and yet how very small must that quantity hare been. Nothing I havo yet seen has so thoroughly demonstrated the deadly
the punctures having been scarified. 3-30.?Tho Hakeem who administered the "antidote" last Saturday again presented him-
injected bito, for
entered almost before tho fangs had left. In fact, it could not have been done moro rapidly, and yet within one
second after tho
bitten at 3-24 p.m. in the thigh by cobra that had been in confinement for some weeks, and had
infinitesimal portion of time during which tho cobra's fangs were inserted into the tissues was sufficient to havo sent tho
Experiment No. 1.
Present:?Drs. Fayrer, Cutcliffe, and Mr. Sceva.? August 21st, 1869. A Large
EXPERIMENTS ON THE INFLUENCE OF SNAKEPOISON, AND ON THE EFFECTS OF CERTAIN METHODS OP TREATMENT. By J. Fatrek,
POISON, &c.?BY J. FATHER.
of carbolie acid
4-53.?Faint. 4-54.?Dead. This acid U very poisonous
large cobra's mouth
to all snakes.
Present:?Dr. Fayrer and Mr.
Experiment No. 1. I have
received from Mr. H. B.
Simson, C.S., from Monghyr, some leaves and stalks of a wild plant growing in that vicinity, named by the natives " Norbish," and reputed to be efficacious in the treatment of the bites of snakes or stings of other venomous animals, such as the scorpion, centipide and wasp. The plant was brought to Mr. Simson's notice by Baboo Hurrish Chunder. I have been as yet unable to find out its botanical name. The juice of the fresh plant was extracted and mingled with that of the green ginger, according to instructions. A medium-sized, but strong and active dog was then bitten in the thigh, at 3-37 p.m., by a cobra (teturiah keauteah), just
that had been in confinement for some weeks. One ounce of the juice was administered at 3-39, and some of the juice, with the bruised leaves, rubbed into the fang punctures. The leg
partially paralysed almost immediately after the bite. 3-40.?Staggers in his hind leg as he walks. A second dose of the juice administered. 3-50.?The clog is lethargic, and 4 p.m.?Looks sluggish, and sick ; walks breathes rapidly. feebly, dragging the hind legs. 4-2 p.m.?Another dose of the juice administered. 4-10.?Is sick rejected a quantity of frothy mucus, tinged with the juice of the plant. 4-12.? 4-15.?Sick again. 4-18.?Constant Another dose given. retching. 4-21 ?Staggering ; very restless ; keeps his nose on the ground. 4-27.?Again retching ; rises and staggers as
4-32.? his side ; convulsed. convulsive movements in
Violently convulsed. 4-35.?Slight neck. Bespiration has ceased. Heart
still beats. 4-37.?Dead?
in 1 hour.
dog, though small, was full grown and vigorous. The not fresh, hence, perhaps, the reason that death not occur for one hour, instead of 30 to 40 minutes, as is
This snake did
usual. Experiment No. 2.
pariah dog was bitten in three places in the thigh, grown bungarus fasciatus, that was brought from
by a full Soorie, in Beerbhoom, about three weeks ago. The snake seemed vigorous, and was just completing the exfoliation of its epidermis. The snake bit at 3-48 p.m.?At 5 p.m. there were no symptoms of poisoning, the dog, perhaps, looked a little depressed, but that might have been from fear. The bungarus would not strike, even when the dog trod on it; it did its best to get out of the way, as I have so frequently seen with other snakes. It was only when its jaws were closed by the snake6 p.m.?No change. man on the dog's thigh that it bit. 8 p.m.?Vomited. 9-15.?Lying down ; on being raised on his feet appears weak; steps irregularly. August 29th, 7 a.m.? Vomited again. 9 p.m.?Lying on his side, in which position he has remained all day; refuses food. 30th, 7 a.m.? Appears to have recovered partially. Noon.?No further change. 6 p.m.?Looks better. 31st, 8 a.m.?Still improving ; takes food and water. September 1st, 8 a.m.?Appears to be again suffering from the poison. 2nd.?Worse ; unable to 4tli.? 3rd.?Unable to stand. stand, or walk steadily. Unable to stand; tries to eat, but takes very little. 5th.? Very weak ; has diarrhoea. 6th.?The same. 7th, 4-55 p.m.? Died. This experiment illustrates the slow action of
remarkably poison of the bungarus, as compared #obra, or viper.
that of the
Experiment No. 3.
by a cobra (keauteah) at 3-54 p.m. At 5 p.m. there was no change, the bungarus was unaffected. 29th, 7 a.m.?Sluggish ; appears to have received some injury about the head and neck. Mr. Sceva reports that the bungarus died on Sunday morning, beforenoon. He expresses a doubt as to its death being the result of the poison. Expeeiment No. 4. A fowl was bitten in the cobra
at 4-6 p.in. Immediately the snake's fangs were withdrawn the part was cut out ; the mass of muscle,
including the two fang punctures, was completely excised; certainly, not two seconds of time intervened between the bite and the removal of the part bitten. A ligature was placed tightly drawn around the thigh above the part bitten, and was relaxed just before the part was excised. The object of the ligature was to prevent entry of the poison by the circulation, during the short time that the fangs were actually imbedded in the flesh.
4-13.? ; head beginning to droop. nodding; beak resting on the ground, but still easily roused, as though from sleep. 4-16.?Yery drowsy; head fallen over on the ground. Cannot stand or walk, but can still
still be roused, but is very much 4-40.?Convulsive move4-56.?Slow respiration ; occasional convulsive
ments ; weaker. movements. 5-10.?Dead?in 64 minutes. It is evident that, although excision in this
did not save
life, it mitigated the effect of the poison, and prolonged life. Had the part not been excised, it is probable that deatli would have occurred in a few minutes, instead of an hour and four minutes. The inference is, that when the poison is injected into a muscular part, before excision can be practised, a certain amount has already entered the venous
circulation, and some of has, by diffusion, passed beyond the reach of the knife, and In eases where so more slowly enters the circulation, and kills. amputation of the whole part can be practised, the latter danger is obviated ; and if done very rapidly, as in the case of the fowl, in which the carpus was amputated, it may save life. The blood coagulated firmly after death. it
TI-IE INDIAN MEDICAL GAZETTE.
bungarus (Experiment No. 2) was bitten severely places near the tail, so as to avoid injuring the viscera,
Expeeiment No. 5. A
bitten in the
that bit in
No. 4, at 4-55 p.m. In The fowl was left to its fate,
this case the part was not cut out. the object of the experiment being to contrast the effects with those where the part had been excised, the bite being inflicted by the same snake.
5-1.?The fowl is crouching, but is easily roused
breathing. 5-4.?Drooping rapidly,
has hurried the
ground ; itself, as out of sleep ; falls back into a profound stato of lethargy. 5-8.?Springs from the ground with convulsive movements. 5-12.?Violently convulsed; and lies on the starts;
ground. 5-15.?Dead?in 18 minutes. This fowl was a more powerful bird than the one previously bitten by the same snake, and yet it lived only 18 minutes, whilst the first that had the earlier, and consequently more lived 64 minutes. The prolongation of life is due to the excision of the bitten part in the first fowl; it shows only mitigation, and not annihilation of
poison, it is so far encouraging, for it gives time, during which other juvantia may be had recourse to. But it plainly proves, when contrasted with the experiments in which amputation was performed, that in excision, diffusion of the poison takes place throughout the tissues beyond the limits the effects of the
Noyejibeb 1, of the
fang punctures, place.
and that from this
tion may take
Experiment Wo. 2.
diffusion, fatal absorp-
by a cobra (kcautoah), in tho inguinal fold, which was raised and stretched for tho purpose. Tho fangs penetrated deeply, and tho part was immediately excised by a clean sweep with a sharp scalpel, the part wounded being completely removed. Tho cobra was not fresh, but it was active and vigorous, and bit fiercely. 4-12.?Tho dog is restless. 4-27.?Breathing accelerated. 4-35.?No further change. 4-10.?Looks sluggish ; eyes blinking ; breathing rather rapid. 4-46.?No change. G p.m.?No change. 9 p.m.?No change. 5th September, 8 a.m.?Looks well; takes food. 6th September.?Quito well; not affected by the poison. This dog escaped. Tho oxcision in this enso proved successful ; it was done very rapidly, and extended considerably boyond tho marks of tho snake's fangs. A
Experiment No. 6. A fowl was bitten in the fore-arm, between the ulna and radius, by a cobra, at 4-30 p.m. The part was immediately amputated at the elbow joint; a ligature was applied to prevent bleeding. 4-40.?The fowl seems unaffected. 5-6.?Seems quite well. 7th September.?The fowl is still alive and well it also has been saved by the immediate amputation, as in the caso of ?
the cat and tho other fowl.
in which excision was
practised proved ultimately futal, though deatli was delayed. Why i3 this ? The reason, I believe, is, that when excision only is practised, although it may extend beyond the limits of the cobra-bite, yet does not remove so much of the poison us has already so rapidly been diffused throughout tho tissues. Tho inference from this seems to mo very cloar, that in caso of a bite in the finger or too in a human being, amputation, if performed without delay, would offer tho best chance of life. It is a terrible alternative ; but as it is, perhaps, the only chance of saving life, it should be done. All the snake-men that I have seen admit that they have all little or no belief in any medicines ; but that they know of instances where men have been bitten by cobras, and havo recovered, by binding ligature in several places tightly round the limb above the punctures, and then by burning tho bitten part thoroughly either with a hot iron, a live coal, or exploding gunpowder. I hope on a future occasion to consider tho whole question of all
what may be done in snake-bite," and to summarizo tho results of such observations as I have been able to make myself, or to gather in a reliable form from others.
Present:?Dr. Fayeee and Mr. Sceta.?September 4th, 1869. cobra (bansbuniah keauteah, of snake-men), in tho fore-arm at 3-42 p.m. Carbolic acid was immediately rubbed into the bitesi and within two seconds, a strong ligaturo was tied as tightly as it could be drawn round
pariah dog was bitten by a
Experiment No. 3.
keautcah), was removed, and eye-lids of a healthy and vigorThe dog was examined again ous young puppy, at 4-12 p.m. ?t 4-37 p.m., and the eye was found to havo been most seriously affected. Thero was intense chemosis of tho conjunctiva, two
poison drops inserted
ligaturo freely from
the fang wounds.
3-52.?Ten drops of carbolic acid,
and is very
sluggish; but when ho is roused he walks about. 4-5.?Lying on his side ; restless; half convulsive movements of the limbs ; breathing
agaiu. 4-19.? stnggers as he walks. 4-14.?Rises ; Hind legs twitch convulsively. 4-24-?Convulsive twitchings ; is sick. 4-26.?Cannot stand; is convulsed. 4-30.?Sick and convulsed. 4-32.?Heart still beats; no respiratory movements. 4-33.?Dead?in 51 minutes. This experiment shows how futile the carbolic acid and tho ligaturo ligature
much so, that tho eyo could not bo seen, and tho lids well
vulsed. 4-5G.?Dead?in 41 minutes. Tho result of these oxpcriihonts surprised
rapidly, observed, too, in captivity. be
fresh one, and had been
much, for it
proves that absorption of tho poison can take place through a membrane, and prove fatal. I am certain thero was no wound abrasion of tho
conjunctiva, and yet the influence of tho deadly. Previous experiments havo not illustrated this effect of snake-poison; according to most observers, it has been thought that tho poison could bo applied with impunity to any surfaco, oven of mucous membrane, provided thero were no wound. or
Experiment No. 4. tho surfaco of tho
Having exposed pcctoral musclo of a fowl, having raised a few of tho superficial fibres, without causing tho effusion of moro than a few drops of blood, two or three drops of tho poison, just lakon from a cobra (keautcah), were rubbed into tho exposed surfaco at 4-12 p.m. 4-23.?Apparently not affected. 4-26.?Tho bird is drooping ; head declining; rises suddenly with a start, as if awakened suddenly from a sound sleep; head falls over again, and tho point of tho beak rests on tho ground. 4-32.?Rises and stagin convulsions. 4-37.?Violently convulsed. gers; falls over 4-45.?Violently convulsed. 4-48.?Dead?in 36 minutes. This experiment also proves that absorption of tho poison takes place through tho walls of tho vessels; for, although tho muscular fibro was exposed, thero was scarcely a bleeding point. It shows tho danger of allowing tho poison to come and
in contact with any
to the extremest strangulation of tho limb, within two seconds of the cobra's bite. Tho carbolic acid was applied even sooner, and yet the symptoms of poison set in and death occurred within the hour. The snake, it is to was
puffed out. like a ball. The chemosis was very pallid. 4-16.?Dog again examined, and fount? to bo deeply under the influence of tho poison. Convulsed in tho limbs ; unable to stand, and salivated. ; starting and whining with a short, snapping, snarling sound ; chemosis intense; eye-lids swollen like a ball; tho eyo cannot bo seen. 4-54.?Paralysed and con-
the limb above tho wounds. 3.44.?The dog is restless ; the bitten and ligatured limb is almost parulyscd from the tension of the ligaturo; below the it is intensely congested, and dark blood is dropping
of a cobra (tcturiah
Experiment No. 1. A
THE INFLUENCE OE SNAKE POISON, &c.?BY J. EAYEER.
Experiment No. 5.
largo bungarus fasciatus, fivo feet long, was bitten by a fresh and vigorous cobra at 4-46 p>m. Tho bito was inflicted near tho tail. 6 p. m.?Very sluggish. 7*20.?Dead. A very
Mr. Sceva notes that ho thinks that death may havo been caused by injuries inflicted from compression during handling ;
THE INDIAN MEDICAL GAZETTE.
228 ths head
being very small, compared with the cobra and viper, the snake-man grasps the neck more firmly for fear of slipping, and hence may have caused the injury. But the results of more than one experiment incline me to believe that the bungarus a much less degree than the innocuous snakes, and that it succumbs to the cobra or viper-poison.
is, though in
At the same
?which is thrown
quite recognise the justice subject by Mr. Sceva.
of the doubt