A study of the means by which nature rids the economy of what is harmful has been made by Sanquirico, of Siena, and his experiments and conclusions are as follows:
He finds that the vessels of the body, without undergoing extensive structural alteration, can by exosmosis rid themselves of fluid to an amount of eight per cent. of the body weight of the subject of the experiment.
Through the injection of neutral fluids a great increase in the vascular tension is effected, which is relieved by elimination through the kidneys.
With reference to this fact, the author, in 1885, made experiments with alcohol and strychnine, and continued his researches in the use of chloral and aconitine with results favorable to the method employed, which is as follows:
The minimal fatal dose of a given poison was selected, and found to be in a certain relation to the body weight.
Immediately upon the injection of the poison a solution of sodium chloride, 0.75 per cent. in strength, was injected into the subcutaneous tissues of the neck, in quantities being eight per cent. of the body weight of the animal.
In the case of those poisons whose effect is not instantaneous, the injection of saline solution was made on the first appearance of toxic symptoms. In other poisons the injection was made at once.
The result of the use of salines was a diuresis varying in the promptness of its appearance and in its amount.
Those animals in which diuresis was limited at first and then increased generally recovered, while those in which diuresis was not established perished. The poison used was found in the urine of those which died and also those which recovered.
The author succeeded in rescuing animals poisoned by alcohol, strychnine, chloral, and aconitine. With morphine, curare, and hypnone, the method of elimination failed, although ten per cent. in quantity of the body weight of the animal was used in the saline injection. With aconitine, diuresis was not always established, and when it failed the animal died in convulsions. - Centralblatt fur die Medicinischen Wissenschaften, December 18, 1886.