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July 1941

PREVENTION OF TRAUMATIC COMPLICATIONS IN CONVULSIVE SHOCK THERAPY BY MAGNESIUM SULFATE

Author Affiliations

PHILADELPHIA

From the Camden County Hospital for Mental Diseases, Grenloch, N. J., and the Department of Nervous and Mental Diseases, Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia.

Arch NeurPsych. 1941;46(1):81-85. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1941.02280190091007
Abstract

Traumatic complications in the form of fractures of the spinal vertebrae and extremities represent a serious drawback to convulsive shock therapy. To date, none of the measures suggested to prevent complications have been accepted as entirely prophylactic or entirely practical. The essential problem in convulsive therapy is to eliminate or soften the severity of the tonic muscular contractions which cause skeletal fractures by direct muscle pull. Various chemical agents have been used to nullify the severity of the convulsion. These agents act by blocking the peripheral neuromuscular mechanism and thus produce peripheral motor paralysis of all striated musculature. Bennett,1 who was the first to apply the principle of curarization in shock therapy, demonstrated that an aqueous extract of crude curare could be standardized and given safely prior to metrazol convulsive therapy. He has reported and demonstrated that he can produce with the intravenous administration of curare a flaccid motor

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