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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

sometimes recover. If the poison is discharged into the arteries or veins, the vital functions directly fail, "the victim staggers, and falls from exhaustion—depressing gloom settles on the features—a cold sweat comes upon the face—and death at once supervenes." In such cases the blood is unchanged, and appears healthy; but, where the effect is not immediate, it undergoes change—"ceases to coagulate, the fibrine disappears, and the patient dies with ordinary symptoms of slow poisoning."

A multitude of remedies have been suggested for the bite of serpents; of these, ammonia and alcohol are prominent. Prof. Halfourd, of Australia, reported the recovery of seventeen out of twenty cases of severe bites, from the injection of a solution of ammonia into the veins. The free use of alcohol in some form has been stoutly advocated by many physicians, while others assert that patients have died from the poison even while intoxicated by the remedy. An exhaustive paper

Fig. 14.
PSM V04 D286 Blind or slow worm.jpg
Blind or Slow Worm.

on rattlesnake-bites, and their remedy, by Dr. Mitchell, was published in No. 12 of the "Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge," to which we are indebted for several interesting statements, and to which we refer our readers.

The conclusions of Dr. Fayrer, from his exhaustive experiments upon snake-poisoning in India, are, that most of the popular remedies are of little value, and he seems to differ somewhat from Prof. Halfourd. The celebrated snake-stones, which are said to "absorb and suck out the poison," he "believes are perfectly powerless to produce any such effect." He advises ligature to prevent, if possible, the passage of the poison into the circulation. Whiskey and ammonia are