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April 4, 1936


JAMA. 1936;106(14):1163-1164. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.92770140001009

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Though abortifacients are widely advertised and by inference extensively used, reports of serious toxic results from their use are rare.


History.  —A white married woman, aged 22, entered the hospital with the complaint of epigastric pain and vomiting of two and a half days' duration. She had not voided urine for seventy-two hours.

Examination.  —The patient was obviously ill. Her face was pale and somewhat puffy. General examination was negative except for diffuse tenderness of the abdomen, most marked in the lower part bilaterally. Pelvic examination showed blood coming from the cervix, which was gaping open, soft and edematous. The uterus was enlarged to the size of an eight weeks pregnancy. No masses were palpable on either side.Blood examination revealed red cells 3,000,000, hemoglobin 6 Gm. per hundred cubic centimeters, leukocytes 18,600, polymorphonuclear neutrophils 94 per cent. lymphocytes 6 per cent. A catheter

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