CHLOROFORM, ETHER, and NITROUS OXIDE GAS.—Effects : These drugs may produce death either by inhalation or when taken by mouth. They probably act by depressing the motor nerves supplying the blood vessels, so as to cause complete paralysis of vital centres. They may also cause death by interfering with respiratory functions. When the drug is swallowed, the symptoms consist in colicky pains, bloody diarrhoea, and vomiting. There are also manifestations of paralysis, sight disturbances, etc. Antidotes and Treatment : The drug should at once be withdrawn, the patient placed with his head lower than the rest of the body, and the tongue pulled forward so that it may not obstruct breathing. If the drug has been swallowed, the stomach should be washed out, preferably with milk or some other fatty fluid. Artificial respiration, and the use of the electric current, with one pole at the throat and the other in the region of the stomach, should be resorted to. Give amyl nitrite by inhalation in case of heart stoppage.
COAL-GAS.—See CARBONIC ACID.
COCAINE.—Ellects : A poisonous dose of cocaine causes ringing of the ears, loss of appetite, dryness of the throat, nausea, vomiting, muscular tremors, dizziness, flickering before the eyes, slow pulse, palpitation of the heart, pallor, and dilatation of the pupils. Breathing becomes irregular and shallow ;
sometimes spasmodic convulsions occur. All the special senses (sight, hearing, taste and smell) are impaired or totally lost. Urination is usually increased. Iii the beginning the patient appears as under the influence of alcohol, but later he collapses completely. In the chronic form of the poisoning, great mental weakness and depravity are the most conspicuoUs symptoms. Antidotes. and Treatment : A strong emetic, followed by an intestinal astringent, such as tannin, should be given first. Morphine is probably the best antidote ; chloro form or chloral are also effectual. The heart weakness should be counter acted by giving inhalations of amyl nitrite. Artificial respiration may be necessary if other remedies fail.