This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
About 25 years ago, Dr. S. Weir Mitchell and Dr. Reichert published results of their investigations of snake venom which indicated that permanganate of potassium may prove of material value as an antidote to this lethal substance. Since that time permanganate has been largely used all over the world as a remedy when men and animals were bitten by poisonous snakes, and Sir Lauder Brunton devised an instrument by means of which the permanganate may be readily carried in the pocket, and immediately injected into, or into the neighborhood of, the wound. Captain Rodgers, of the Indian Medical Service, recently reported several cases treated by this method, the wounds being due to the bites of the cobra. After making free crucial incisions of the bitten part, the wound was thoroughly flushed with a hot solution of permanganate of potassium, and then bandaged. Recovery occurred in each instance, although the cauterant action of the hot solution of permanganate of potassium delayed healing so long that the part was not well for about 3 weeks. About 12 or 13 years ago, Dr. Amos Barber, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, reported cases in which excellent results had followed this method of treatment.