An analysis of 163 cases of mercuric chloride poisoning in the Mount Sinai Hospital of Cleveland, both from the clinical and particularly from the pathologic point of view, has demonstrated the importance of gangrenous colitis in the course of mercury poisoning.
It has been the general conception in the past that most patients with mercury poisoning die of renal insufficiency. "Unless a fatal issue results early from shock or some other unusual occurrence, the patient [poisoned by mercury] virtually lives or dies by his kidneys."1
In the past five years, the number of patients (seventeen) with mercury poisoning coming to autopsy at Mount Sinai Hospital of Cleveland were found to fall into three groups (table 1): Group 1. Those dying within forty-eight hours of the ingestion of the poison in shock, following an extensive and severe gastritis, with marked hemorrhagic necrosis of the stomach wall. Group 2. Those dying
BERGER SS, APPLEBAUM HS, YOUNG AM. IMMEDIATE CECOSTOMY AND CONSTANT LAVAGE IN MERCURIC CHLORIDE POISONING. JAMA. 1932;98(9):700-705. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730350014004