Orginal Publication Date
MCV/Q, Medical College of Virginia Quarterly
Thirsty men adrift or lost on desert shores frequently experiment with drinking sea water--especially after the third day--without harm if only small quantities are taken. But such experimentation is difficult to control, and, when in a group, individuals often drink furtively at night. The fleeting relief it affords gives way to an ever more ardent thirst and more copious drinking. This May be succeeded by silence and apathy. The eyes take on a fixed and glass expression; the breath, an offensive odor. Then delirium begins – first quiet, later violent – and consciousness is gradually lost. At some time froth appears at the corners of bright, cherry-red lips, and even in non-drinkers the tongue may be covered with an annoying white slime. The victim frequently goes overboard in noisy delirium, on occasion by half-reasoned design or desire; or death comes quietly. In the face of these facts, we shall consider an outwardly absurd idea, namely, the potability of sea water in mammals.
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VCU University Archives