In the practice of medicine and surgery, emergency conditions arise that call for treatment though the conditions have never been seen before; but if similar conditions have been reported by others and the means of handling them have been described, they become much simpler. It is for this reason that I am reporting a case of sudden esophageal occlusion due to the ingestion of Saraka, a hygroscopic gum laxative, which resulted in an extremely uncomfortable and progressive condition because of its progressive swelling.
Mrs. H. B., aged 59, had been taking Saraka as a laxative. She took 1 or 2 drachms (4 or 8 Gm.) each day by putting a drachm on the back of her tongue and helping it down with a glass of water. She did not object to the taking of the Saraka but considered it as a means to an end (relieving constipation). Nov. 16, 1937,
Waltz MR. ESOPHAGEAL OBSTRUCTION RESULTING FROM AN INJUDICIOUS METHOD OF INGESTING A HYGROSCOPIC GUM LAXATIVE (SARAKA)ESOPHAGOSCOPIC REMOVAL. JAMA. 1939;112(3):229. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.62800030001009a