HYPODERMIC INJECTIONS. medicines introduced with a syringe beneath the .skin. This method is often preferable to that of giving them mouth. The stomach is sometimes in a condition which will not hear the presence of drugs, par ticularly narcotics, and these are the agents which are most frequently administered hypodermically. A small graduated glass syringe armed with a silver point, cut oft obliquely so that its sharpened extremity may easily be.made to pierce the skin, is used. The medicine may be thrown iu just beneath the skin, but the point of the syringe is often thrust into the body of a muscle. The wounding of blood-vessels or nerves should be carefully avoided, and therefore the operation should never be-undertaken except by a physician or an anatomist: Local pains may generally be more successfully treated in this manner than by the common method. In some cases an may, how
ever, be preferable. It is usual to make a special preparation of the drug which is to be introduced. Morphia may be given in the form of sulphate, but some physicians prepare an acetate, according to directions given in the dispensatories. The syringe must be completely filled when used, otherwise the introduction of an air-bubble into a vein might be attended by danger, and if only thrown into the cellular tissue may cause inflammation and abscess. Other medicines than opiates are sometimes used, but they should all be used with caution. Habitual narcotization by means of hypo dermic injections is as productive of a habit of opium taking as swallowing it, and physicians are often meeting with patients who will complain of pain at every visit, and beg for the use of the syringe.