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Feb. 9, 1919, I received a message from a local children's institution that one of the inmates was having a "fit." Arriving there twenty minutes later, I found that twenty children were having convulsions. On inquiry I found that the children had been given from 1 to 11/2 tablespoonfuls of medicine, presumably castor oil. The dosage had varied according to the ages of the children, who were from 4 to 10 years of age. The medicine was given at 6:30 a. m., and the first child to be taken ill presented his initial symptoms at 7:15 a. m. The children were sprawled all over the dormitory presenting all kinds of symptoms, from an expression of the face indicating nausea to convulsions. The first thing that immediately impressed one on entering the room was the odor of camphor.
It was then discovered that the children had been given camphorated oil (linimentum
BENZ RW. CAMPHORATED OIL POISONING WITH NO MORTALITYREPORT OF TWENTY CASES. JAMA. 1919;72(17):1217-1218. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610170019007