According to Dr. A. W. Blyth,3 quantities of one or two ounces of absolute alcohol given in the form of brandy, gin, etc., would be a highly dangerous and probably fatal dose for a child below ten or twelve years of age; while the toxic dose for adults is somewhere between 2 1/2 and 5 ounces.

This, however, appears to be a very low estimate. The Central Control Board Committee, already mentioned, give it as being "generally accepted " that with a content of alcohol in the blood exceeding 06 per cent. there is a considerable likelihood of death.4 If this is taken as being approximately the alcoholic concentration in dangerous poisoning, it follows from Grehant's results noted above that the dose taken would be about 6 c.c. per kilo. of body-weight. This, for a man of 10 stone weight, works out to about 13 1/2 fluid oz. of absolute alcohol. The fatal dose is put, in fact, at ' about 14 oz. of absolute alcohol, or nearly a pint and a half of proof spirit," on the assumption mentioned. But it is to be remembered that some persons are much more susceptible than the average person to the action of alcohol.

1 Grehant; Compt. rend. Soc. Biol., 1881, 1886, 1889.

2 Ibid., 1916, 79, 8.

3 " Poisons," p. 144, 1906 edition.

4 "Alcohol, its Action on the Human Organism," pp. 87, 88.

It has been suggested that the amount of the lethal dose in cases of direct alcoholic poisoning may depend upon the degree of dilution of the spirit, as strong alcohol will act almost corrosively on the mucous membrane of the stomach, and so aid the more remote effects. But even when alcohol kills (by acute poisoning), it kills through its action on the brain and the rest of the nervous system, and not by directly injuring any other bodily organ. Thus, for instance, to depress the action of the heart to an appreciable degree alcohol must be present in the blood to the extent of about 05 per cent., which would imply an original dose of more than 11 oz. of absolute alcohol for a man of 10 stone weight. With such a dose, in an ordinary individual, the direct effect on other organs would be negligible in presence of the symptoms of profound and dangerous poisoning of the central nervous system.1