April 16, 1898


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1898;XXX(16):915-916. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.72440680035001k

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Mrs. R. E., 20 years of age, in August, 1895, swallowed an indefinite quantity of a solution of potassium hydrate, commonly known as concentrated lye, of uncertain strength. Whether any of the chemical reached the stomach is not known, but its escharotic effect was markedly exerted in the esophagus. I did not see the case for some weeks after the accident and am unable to say what, if any, constitutional effects the drug produced. The attending physician treated the case by quieting pain, giving demulcent drinks and liquid food. No attempt was made to preserve the lumen of the esophagus by the systematic passage of bougies during the time cicatricial contraction was taking place. While such a procedure is advocated in many of our text-books it is of doubtful utility; for gradually and persistently stenosis and atresia succeed each other.

In December, 1895 the case was referred to me, as

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