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October 28, 1944

SEPTICEMIA AND BACTERIAL ENDOCARDITIS RESULTING FROM HEROIN ADDICTIONREPORT OF FIVE CASES

JAMA. 1944;126(9):535-538. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850440007003
Abstract

The development of bacterial infection of the blood stream in narcotic addicts as a result of their addiction is a rare occurrence. This is somewhat surprising in view of the fact that so many addicts use morphine or heroin by injection and entirely without antiseptic technic. Most1 has reported on the epidemiologic and clinical aspects of more than 200 cases of malaria in drug addicts in New York City. Apparently this disease is not uncommon, being spread through groups of addicts as a result of contamination of their injection equipment with blood containing the parasites. This assumption is based on the fact that it is common practice for addicts to employ a single syringe and needle for a series of injections in different individuals without the slightest attention to cleansing of the equipment between injections. Doane2 reviewed the literature on the subject of tetanus acquired by narcotic addicts

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