WHEN administered by the intraarterial route, many drugs induce lesions in the small arterioles, resulting in thrombosis and ischemic damage to tissues supplied by them.1-7 Intra-arterial injection of penicillin has been reported to induce damage by this same mechanism.8-11
This communication refers to two cases of accidental intra-arterial injection of penicillin.
Report of Cases
A 10-month-old infant was brought to the emergency room of Mt Sinai Hospital, New York, with a two-day history of fever and pain in the right ear. On examination, a purulent right otitis media was found and a mixture of penicillin G benzathine and penicillin G procaine (Bicillin C-R), 1,200,000 units, was administered in the upper third of the external aspect of the left thigh. Immediately after injection, the child became very irritable; four hours later, the mother noticed marked swelling of the left inferior extremity. In the emergency room, the swelling
Schanzer H, Gribetz I, Jacobson JH. Accidental Intra-arterial Injection of Penicillin GA Preventable Catastrophe. JAMA. 1979;242(12):1289–1290. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03300120043024