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Medical and Physical Journal.

20F VOL. XXXVIII.] AUGUST, 1817.

(no. 222.

For the London Medical and Physical Journal. Description of Dr. Davis's Craniotomist (see Med. and Phil.

Intelligence in our last Number, p. 77.) Fig. 1 shews the single-curved forceps, adjusted at the lock, but a little open at the blades.-a. Ordinary lock. c. The internal blade of the single-curved forceps. d. One of the perforations in the internal blade of the same instrument, to receive the corresponding tooth of the opposite external blade.

Fig. 2 news the forceps with double curvë.--. The ordinary lock.

N.B. The intention of this instrument is to seize any part of the head which may hitch above the symphysis pubis, not readily accessible to the single-curved forceps.

Fig. 3 shews the perforations into the convex surface of the internal blade. This is reduced to about half its actual size.

Fig. 4 shews the teeth projecting from the concave surface of the external blade. These teeth are buried in the concavity of the blade, so as to be under the level of the sides, and therefore be yond the reach of any of the soft parts of the patient.

This instrument, a drawing of which we now present to our readers, will have the effect of superseding the use of the crotchet, and, in most cases, of the whole tribe of crooked instruments.

Dr. Davis proposes to call the instrument the Craniotomy Forceps. It consists of a pair of forceps with blades having corresponding curves. Each blade is to be introduced singly, the head of the child having been previously opened, and a proper quantity of brain removed. One blade is to be applied to the outside of the head : this should be called the external blade, The other, or internal blade, is to be introduced into the interior of the skull, through the perforation previously made into it by the perforator, or any other convenient instrument. Each blade is to be introduced singly, after which they are to be brought together and locked, after the manner of locking the common forceps. Thus, a portion of scalp and skull will be firmly embraced between the two blades. To prevent slipping, the external blade is armed with teeth, which are made to penetrate the scalp'; but which are so situated that they cannot possibly come in contact with any part of the mother. The opposite blade is

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bored with perforations corresponding with the teeth of the former.--See the engraving of the instruments, two forms of which are represented, adapted to different cases of distortion and different stages of the delivery.

Simplicity of structure is the great recommendation of the instrument in question, while with this simplicity it possesses great power, is extremely easy of application, and is without danger to the mother.

Dr. Davis was led to the improvement by the frequent calls made upon him to assist in cases to which the instrument is applicable, and by a conviction of the objections which oppose themselves to the plans hitherto pursued and practised in these instances of distressing emergency.

For the London Medical and Physical Journal.
On Poisoning with Arsenic; by JAMES KERR, Esq.
EADING in the newspapers, in April last, an account

of the very important trial of a surgeon, at Falmouth, on a charge of murder, I anxiously waited in expectation of seeing, in your valuable Journal, some remarks on a case in which the medical public is so much interested. But, as no. thing has appeared except a notice of it under the head of Medical Intelligence, containing nothing conclusive, and in which the experiments of Dr. Neale are not mentioned, I beg to submit to your readers a few remarks on the subject.

As the circumstances of the case may not be known to all your readers, I shall briefly state them. A surgeon, practising at Falmouth, was indicted for poisoning his motherin-law, by giving her arsenic. The principal witness for the prosecution was Dr. Edwards, of the same town, who, amongst other particulars, stated, that, upon trying the contents of the stomach with the test of sulphate of copper .with carbonate of potash, a green precipitate took place ; and on trying another portion with carbonate of potash and .nitrate of silver, the yellow precipitate so well known was the result; that he had not a sufficient quantity to attempt the re-production of metallic arsenic, but he was quite satisfied with these experiments as determining the existence of arsenic,

Fortunately for the prisoner, Dr. Neale, of Exeter, was examined as a witness, who stated that he did not consider the above experiments as at all to be relied on, and then related the result of two experiments which appeared completely to invalidate those of Dr. Edwards, and, no doubt, considerably infuenced the jury in their decision.

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