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July 19, 1924

WHAT A SEIDLITZ POWDER DID; HOW AN ACUTE OBSTRUCTION WAS RELIEVED BY POSTURAL CHANGE

JAMA. 1924;83(3):195. doi:10.1001/jama.1924.26610030004009e

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Abstract

The case reported here affords a most unusual example of the alarming symptoms that may occasionally follow the taking of a supposedly harmless laxative.

The localized pain in the left iliac fossa coming on within twenty minutes indicates that there was a probable torsion of the bowel at this point; and the fact that the distention did not develop until the fourth day seems rather conclusive evidence that the torsion was low down in the bowel.

REPORT OF CASE  On the morning of Saturday, March 29, 1924, a surgeon, aged 55, awoke with a severe frontal headache, for the relief of which he took a seidlitz powder before breakfast. Within twenty-five minutes after taking it, he had a very copious semiformed stool—so copious that he felt as if the entire intestinal tract had been emptied. A few minutes later he was seized with griping abdominal pain, and passed a stool

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