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Article
June 7, 1913

WOOD-ALCOHOL BLINDNESS: REPORT OF TWO CASES, ONE OF EXTERNAL AND ONE OF INTERNAL USE

JAMA. 1913;60(23):1762-1764. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04340230008003
Abstract

My object in reporting these cases of wood-alcohol blindness is to arouse, if possible, enough sentiment in the medical profession to influence the legislature to pass an act safeguarding innocent persons against an insidious poison. In 1897 Dr. Archibald G. Thompson1 of Philadelphia reported a case of sudden blindness due to drinking "Jamaica ginger." A year later four such cases came under my observation, while two others were furnished me by my friends Drs. Herbert Harlan and Francis M. Chisolm. I reported these six cases2 in 1899. All the patients presented substantially the same symptoms. They had drunk what they supposed to be Jamaica ginger. Shortly afterward, within from twelve to twenty-four hours, they were seized with nausea, headache, prostration and coma. These were attributed to a "drunk." On awaking they found themselves blind, or with central vision lost; all of them went through various periods of transient

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