Report on Therapeutics

R. T. Edes
1873 Boston Medical and Surgical Journal  
cases of gangrene from the application of carbolic acid. In the first case, the linger of a girl, aged 13, who had a splinter under the nail, was dipped in the acid, and then enveloped in a compress wet with tho samo solution. At tho end of eight days, the finger was entirely gangrenous above the middle of the second phalanx. He then experimented on rabbits . and fowls. The first animals, 'whose limbs wero plunged in concentrated carbolic acid for from three to live minutes', died of poisoning
more » ... died of poisoning in a few hours. Thoso who survived had gangrene. In order to prevent the poisoning, a ligature was placed around the limb previous to immersion. Five minutes of immersion then sufficed to produce death of the part. Oilier thought that ho might be able in this way to amputate fingers and toes without danger or pain, but an attempt upon the groat too failed, on account of the thickness of tho epidermis. several cases of traumatic erysipelas in which ho had very favorable results from the subcutaneous injection of sulpho-carbolato of soda. In three or four places, at the borders of the crysipelatous parts, injections were daily made with a solution of one to twelve of tlu? amorphous salt (Schcring's), alter which the erysipelas disappeared on tho third or fourth day. Zäpolsky (Hoppe-Segler's Medicinisch. Chem. Untersuchungen, 1871) examined tho oil'ect of carbolic acid on various fermentations. Solutions of albuminous bodies are precipitated by carbolic acid only when the solutions of tho latter are almost concentrated, and the reaction of the fluid neither very acid nor alkaline. Carbolic acid does not prevent the action of emulsin nor amygdalin, nor that of diastase nor of the saliva upon starch. It hinders digestion of fibrin by pepsin the more strongly the stronger the solution ; and, if carbolic acid is present in sufficient quantity, entirely stops it. In order entirely to prevent digestion, however, it appears necessary that the iluid present should consist of at least fifty per cent, of carbolic acid. Iloppo-Scylcr (op. cit.) concludes that the destruction of tho inferior organisms (infusoria) accompanying putrefaction may bo accomplished by a small quantity of carbolic acid, but that fermentations *Second semi-annual Report.
doi:10.1056/nejm187303200881204 fatcat:v6phyju6ujcyxonuo42gi6efoy