These are seldom met with, even in war, amongst civilized nations, except by unintended causation. This may happen especially to physicians and surgeons, in their operations, and to medical students in the dissecting-room. Matter from dead bodies, or from diseased living ones, introduced even into the slightest scratch with a knife, needle, or pin, may so taint the blood as to produce a dangerous illness. Not a few physicians have suffered a fatal result from pricking a finger in a post-mortem examination. To prevent such results (besides care to avoid letting an abraded or punctured part come in contact with morbid matters), as soon as such a thing has happened, the part should be immediately washed and sucked, and then kept out of the way of further danger.

In the treatment of poisoned wounds, there is nothing different from that of those which are penetrating or lacerated, unless the wound is made by rabid animals or by venomous serpents. For either of these last, immediate suction is a right precaution; and at the same time a tight cord around the arm or leg, if either extremity has been bitten; then the end of an iron wire or rod, heated red hot, or a piece of caustic potassa, should be made to burn out the part; or a pinch of gunpowder may be exploded upon it. All these severe measures are designed to prevent the poison from getting, through the blood-vessels, into the system. Although not more, probably, than one in ten of those bitten by mad dogs have hydrophobia, that one will incurably suffer a dreadful death.