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amount of heat as the result of oxygenation of the blood. The amount of heating in a given time depended upon several important factors, as the difference between the temperature of the blood in the experimental vessel and that of the surrounding air, upon the amount of blood contained in the apparatus, and the space through which the vessel was moved during its agitation, no less than upon the number of the agitations.
To describe, or even to give the results of a series of experiments so eminently unsatisfactory, would be a mere waste of time; it will be sufficient for me to state, however, that I clearly came to the conclusion that, like those who had preceded me, I had obtained no positive proof of the heating of blood when it absorbs oxygen, there having been as great a heating when water as when blood was experimented upon.
In commencing new experiments this year, I did so with the conviction that, in order to obtain results of any value, my apparatus should be so constructed and my experiments so conducted as to preclude the possibility of any appreciable rise in temperature resulting from the mechanical work of shaking. Then I decided upon discarding thermometers, and making use of thermo-electric junctions of great delicacy.
The galvanometer employed in the research was one resembling one of Sir Wm. Thomson's older forms, constructed especially for Professor Tait, every possible precaution having been taken to avoid a trace of iron in the coils and framework. The wire was drawn through agate plates from electrolytic copper, covered with white silk and formed into four coils, each adjusted to produce the maximum effect with the least resistance, those parts of the coils nearest the magnets being made of finer wire. The astatic system vibrated under the earth’s force once in eight seconds ; but as this was much too delicate for my purpose, I placed near the instrument a bar-magnet, which reduced the period of vibration to 35.4.
The thermo-electric junctions which I employed were made by twisting very thin iron and copper wire together, the free ends of the copper wires being immersed into the mercury pools of a very simple form of commutator placed in the circuit, which enabled me, with the greatest case, to reverse the current flowing along the wires.
The apparatus actually employed in my experiments consisted of an upper glass vessel, which I may call the blood reservoir, to which was connected a lower vessel, also of glass, and in which the blood, which was the subject of experiment, could be brought in contact with the gases which were intended to act upon it.
The upper vessel was a glass bulb of a pyriform shape, and had a capacity of about 150 cubic centimetres. Above and below it was drawn out, so as to present two tubes, the upper of which was bent at right angles and furnished with a piece of india-rubber tubing, which admitted of being closed by a clamp, whilst the lower was furnished with a very accurately ground stopcock. In the side of the bulb was a round tubulature, which could be closed with a cork, through which passed a thermo-electric junction. The lower, or mixingvessel, was cylindrical in shape, and possessed four apertures. The upper one was closed by a cork, bored so as to allow of the passage of a glass tube, attached above by means of an elastic tube to the stopcock of upper
vessel or reservoir, and made of such a length as to reach to the bottom of the mixingvessel. Near the upper aperture was a second lateral one, into which a glass tube had been fused. This glass tube could be connected, by means of a metallic tube and stopcocks, either with a Sprengel mercurial aspirator or with an oxygen or hydrogen gasometer. À third lateral aperture was
closed with a cork, perforated (like the one which closed the upper vessel) by a second thermal junction. A fourth aperture in the mixing-vessel, closed by a stopcock, enabled it to be emptied.
In determining with such an apparatus whether heat is generated when venous blood becomes arterial, the upper vessel is disconnected from the lower at a point below the glass stopcock previously described; it is completely filled with water, and then the water is displaced by a stream of pure hydrogen gas admitted through the upper tube.
The lower glass tube is then connected with the vessel which contains the blood to be experimented upon. The upper tube, through which hydrogen had been admitted, is now connected to the Sprengel pump, which rapidly sucks the blood into the vessel, without the slightest possibility of its coming in contact with oxygen. The upper vessel is either partially or completely filled with blood, but it always is ultimately left in connexion with a hydrogen gasometer.
The mixing-vessel (the lowest aperture of which has been closed by indiarubber tubing and clip) is now connected to the Sprengel pump, and a vacuum is formed into which hydrogen is allowed freely to flow. The vacuum is renewed three or four times consecutively, hydrogen being allowed to flow into the apparatus each time. The object of this is to exclude traces from the lower vessel of atmospheric oxygen.
The stopcock which connects the upper and lower vessels is opened, and venous blood is allowed to flow into the lower vessel. In actual work both the
upper and lower vessels are thickly covered with wadding. The upper one is firmly fixed in a clamp, and constitutes a reservoir, which, except when the atmospheric changes in temperature are abnormally sudden, maintains during limited periods of time a constant temperature. The lower tube being connected to the stopcock of the upper by means of a flexible indiarubber tube, admits of being completely tilted, or, if necessary, shaken.
As soon as the lower vessel contains the blood to be experimented upon, the thermal junctions are brought in connexion with the galvanometer, The amount of deviation on the graduated scale, and the direction of the deviation, at once tells the experimenter whether the upper or the lower junction be the hotter. The lower vessel is thoroughly shaken, then, after some time, the temperature of its contents is determined by reading on the scale placed in front of the galvanometer. The tube and its contents are then repeatedly tilted, a reading of the galvanometer being taken after each set of five tilts. After a certain time the lower vessel has assumed a constant temperature, and readings, at the interval of two or three minutes, show no perceptible change. I may remark that the galvanometer which, through the kindness of Prof. Tait, was placed at my disposal was so set that in my various experiments one division of the divided scale corresponded to the 100th or the 120th of a degree Cent. The first observations made with my apparatus were intended to determine whether such an amount of agitation as would be required to communicate a thoroughly arterial colour to perfectly venous blood would heat the fluid to a perceptible extent, in consequence of the mechanical work expended in the agitation.
In preliminary experiments I found that venous blood assumed a beantiful arterial huc, when it was mixed with oxygen contained in the mixingvessel, by successively tilting the tube twenty times. In each tilt the tube containing blood and oxygen was completely reversed. In other preliminary experiments I found that when the tube contained thoroughly arterialized blood or water, the process of tilting had no influence on the
temperature of the contained fluid. It was, therefore, obvious that any heating which might occur in the process of tilting or shaking in subsequent experiments could not be referred to the mechanical work expended in the tube and its contents.
My next experiments consisted in determining whether, when agitated with a neutral gas, as, for example, hydrogen, any material change in the temperature of the blood occurred; they led to the result that when agitated with hydrogen gas no heating of the blood results, it being always remembered that the mechanical · agitation to which the blood and the neutral gas were subjected was the same as in my experiments with bloodand oxygen.
In my systematic experiments on the heat generated during the process of arterialization, the following observations were always made :
1. The temperature of the lower as contrasted with the upper vessel was determined after the latter had been exhausted.
2. The temperature-observations were repeated after shaking with hydrogen.
3. After the renewal of a vacuum.
The results of my experiments on very numerous samples of renous blood have led to the conclusion that whilst, as I have previously mentioned, no heat is evolved on agitating blood with hydrogen, there is, on agitation with: oxygen, always a slight evolution of heat.
To determine the exact heating, when venous blood of varying gaseous composition is arterialized, appears to be most desirable. We should especially attempt to determine the heating observed when the average venous blood contained in the right ventricle and directly drawn from it is arterialized. The first and most important datum to be ascertained appeared to me, however, to be the heating which takes place when blood which has been thoroughly reduced, i. e, which contains no loosely combined oxygen and exhibits Stokes's spectrum, is completely arterialized.
From five sets of experiments on the heat developed during the arterialization of perfectly reduced blood, I arrived at the conclusion that the mean rise of temperature during the absorption of oxygen amounted to 0.0976 C. The maximum heating found was 00111 C., and the minimum 00.083C.
The research, of which the above are the results, was conducted in the Physical Laboratory of the University of Edinburgh; and I have to express my thanks to Professor Tait for the uniform kindness with which he helped. me by advice, assistance, and apparatus in ascertaining the facts which are recorded in this Report. I intend to extend these researches very greatly. It is most desirable that in future experiments venous blood of known composition be employed, and that the amount of oxygen absorbed and co, evolved be ascertained after each experiment. I propose likewise to increase the period during which the blood is agitated, making use of an arrangement whereby the mechanical work performed in the agitation may be precisely determined.
Report of the Committee appointed to consider the subject of
Physiological Experimentation. A COMMITTEE, consisting of ten individuals, having been appointed at the last Meeting of the British, Association, held at Liverpool, to consider the subject of Physiological Experimentation, in accordance with a Resolution of the General Committee hereto annexed, the following Report was drawn up and signed by seven members of the Committee.
Report. i. No experiment which can be performed under the influence of an anæs
thetic ought to be done without it. ii. No painful experiment is justifiable for the mere purpose of illustrating a
law or fact already demonstrated; in other words, experimentation without the employment of anæsthetics is not a fitting exhibition for teaching
purposes. iii. Whenever, for the investigation of new truth, it is necessary to make a
painful experiment, every effort should be made to ensure success, in order that the suffering inflicted may not be wasted. For this reason, no painful experiment ought to be performed by an unskilled person with insufficient instruments and assistance, or in places not suitable to the purpose, that is to say, anywhere except in physiological and patho
logical laboratories, under proper regulations. iv. In the scientific preparation for veterinary practice, operations ought not
to be performed upon living animals for the mere purpose of obtaining
George ROLLESTON, Secretary, Oxford.
Resolutions referred to in the Report. That the Committee of Section D (Biology) be requested to draw up a statement of their views upon Physiological Experiments in their various bearings, and that this document be circulated among the Members of the Association,
That the said Committee be further requested to consider from time to time whether any steps can be taken by them, or by the Association, which will tend to reduce to its minimum the suffering entailed by legitimate physiological inquiries; or any which will have the effect of employing the influence of this Association in the discouragement of experiments which are not clearly legitimate on live animals.
The following resolution, subsequently passed by the Committee of Section D (Biology), was adopted by the General Committee :
“That the following gentlemen be appointed a Committee for the purpose of carrying out the suggestion on the question of Physiological Experiments made by the General Committee, Professor Rolleston, Professor Lawson, Professor Balfour, Dr. Gamgee, Professor M. Foster, Professor Humphry, Professor W. H. Flower, Professor Sanderson, Professor Macalister, and Professor Redfern; that Professor Rolleston be the Secretary, and that they be requested to report to the General Committee."
JOHN H. Bambers
, } Edinburgh.
Report on the Physiological Action of Organic Chemical Compounds.
By BENJAMIN WARD RICHARDSON, M.A., M.D., F.R.S. The plan I have heretofore followed, of passing under review the practical results of the labours chronicled in previous Reports, cannot be carried out this year. The review itself would now become so comprehensive that it would occupy all the time allowed for the reading of the Report to the exclusion of the new matter to be brought forward. I shall therefore proceed at once to the description of new research.
CHLORAL HYDRATE. It is two years since the substance called chloral hydrate (the physiological properties of which had been previously discovered by Liebreich) was introduced into this country at the Norwich Meeting of this Association. During the first year of the employment of chloral hydrate the enthusiasm connected with the learning of its value prevented, in some degree, all fair criticism as to its real values and dangers. The year immediately past has afforded time for calmer and more judicial observation, greatly, as I think, to the advantage of the public, since it has given to the professors of medical art the opportunity of learning that the new agent placed in their hands, blessing as it is to humanity, is not an unalloyed blessing, but one that has engendered a new and injurious habit of narcotic luxury, and has added another cause to the preventible causes of the mortality of the nation.
Recognizing these truths, I have felt it a duty to devote some part of the labours of this Report to the elucidation of questions which have become of public, not less than of scientific importance, and to these I would now ask attention.
1. I have endeavoured to ascertain what is a dangerous and what a fatal dose of chloral hydrate. The conclusion at which I have been able first to arrive on this point is, that the maximum quantity of the hydrate that can be borne, at one dose, bears some proportion to the weight of the animal subjected to its influence. The rule, however, does not extend equally to animals of any and every class. The proportion is practically the same in the same classes, but there is no actual universality of rule. A mouse weighing from three-quarters of an ounce to an ounce will be put to sleep by one quarter of a grain of the hydrate, and will be killed by a grain. A pigeon weighing twelve ounces will be put to sleep by two grains of the hydrate, and will be killed by five grains. A guineapig weighing sixteen ounces will be put by two grains into deep sleep, and by five grains into fatal sleep. A rabbit weighing eighty-eight ounces will be thrown by thirty grains into deep sleep, and by sixty grains into fatal sleep.
The human subject, weighing from one hundred and twenty to one hundred and forty pounds, will be made by ninety grains to pass into deep sleep, and by one hundred and forty grains into a sleep that will be dangerous.
From the effects produced on a man who had of his own accord taken a hundred and twenty grains of the hydrate, and who seemed at one period to be passing into death, I was led to infer that in the human subject one hundred and forty grains should be accepted as dangerous, and one hundred and eighty as a fatal dose. Evidence has, however, recently been brought before me which leads me to think that, although eighty grains would in most instances prove fatal, it could, under very favourable circumstances, be recovered from.