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November 1942

FATALITY FOLLOWING INTRAVENOUS ADMINISTRATION OF MAGNESIUM SULFATEREPORT OF A CASE

Author Affiliations

CINCINNATI

From the Psychiatric Department of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and the Psychiatric Service of the Cincinnati General Hospital.

Arch NeurPsych. 1942;48(5):818-822. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1942.02290110138008
Abstract

Since the introduction of convulsive shock therapy, various methods have been used to prevent the traumatic complications. Recently Yaskin1 described favorable results in preventing these complications by the use of magnesium sulfate as a curare-like agent. He injected intravenously 25 to 30 cc. of a 25 per cent sterile aqueous solution of magnesium sulfate as rapidly as possible. The injection was followed immediately by cutaneous flushing, with a concomitant subjective complaint of a marked sensation of "heat," heaviness of the eyelids, bilateral ptosis, weakness of the neck muscles, slurred speech and weakness of the extremities. This syndrome was produced in one to three minutes, and at the height of the reaction metrazol was injected, with a resulting "softened" convulsion. The peripheral muscular paresis usually disappeared within three to six minutes after the effect was reached. Yaskin reported on 256 magnesium sulfate-metrazol treatments administered to 23 patients, ranging in age

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