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November 1915


Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1915;XVI(5):865-879. doi:10.1001/archinte.1915.00080050174009

The recent increase in the number of cases of poisoning by mercuric chlorid is largely due to the newspaper notoriety which was given to a case of accidental poisoning occuring about four years ago. The public were instructed in all the details of the symptoms, and great stress was laid, not only on the sureness of the fatal ending, but also on the painlessness and lack of suffering which accompanied the weeklong illness of that particular victim. The repetition of similar publications and the ease with which tablets of the drug could be obtained appealed to would-be suicides, and now both intentional and accidental cases of poisoning have become a common occurrence in hospital practice. Mercuric chlorid tablets have been used for some years as a household article to treat the ordinary slight wound infections of the family, to rid the house of bed vermin, and in

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