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June 15, 1940

DIAGNOSIS OF ALCOHOLIC INTOXICATION

JAMA. 1940;114(24):2402. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810240056020

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  The observations of Swimm, McCawley and Leake (Correspondence, The Journal, March 23, p. 1098) who noted appreciably high concentrations of alcohol (up to 0.15 per cent) in the blood of normal rabbits, using Heise's method, are rather surprising.In approximately 1,600 determinations of alcohol in blood and urine (Studies in Alcohol: I. Diagnosis of Acute Alcoholic Intoxication by a Correlation of Clinical and Chemical Findings, Am. J. M. Sc.196:475-487 [Oct.] 1938) of persons suspected of acute alcoholism, I noted negative results in about 400 cases using Heise's method. No substances have been found, in my experience, which yield a detectable reducing action in the blood or urine of the normal human being. The urine of approximately 200 nonalcoholic subjects was tested and gave negative results for alcohol. Blood taken from persons in full ether anesthesia also gave negative results. Furthermore, in a series of twenty

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