Monday, April 05, 2010

Opium Poisoning

From Chambers’s Encyclopedia, 1887, Voume V. , page 705

“In case of poisoning by opium, the first most essential point is the evacuation of the contents of the stomach. The stomach-pump, if it can be procured, should be employed, and strong coffee should then be pumped into the stomach after the removal of its contents. The next best remedy is an emetic of sulphate of zinc ( about a scruple), and if this is not at hand, a dessert-spoonful of flour of mustard, stirred in a tumbler of warm water, will usually produce the desired effect. The patient must, if possible, be prevented from falling asleep, and for this purpose he should be kept walking between two strong men, while a third person in the rear, at short intervals, should flick him sharply with a rough wet towel, or ( if procurable), a good birch rod. Cold water should also be occasionally dashed over the head and chest. In a few apparently hopeless cases, death has been averted by artificial respiration, and by the application of electromagnetism.

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