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June 26, 1943


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Surgery, Columbia Hospital, Wilkinsburg, Pa.

JAMA. 1943;122(9):598-599. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.72840260003007c

Carbon dioxide is of increasing importance commercially. Many of its uses rely on its rapid expansion when released from a compressed state.1 That this expansile force of solid carbon dioxide, the familiar "dry ice," is tremendous can perhaps best be appreciated by the realization that a rifle is now being manufactured using crushed "dry ice" as the propelling force. One loading is sufficient to "fire" 1,800 bullets of 0.22 caliber.2 It was surprising, therefore, that reports of explosive injuries due to solid carbon dioxide are not to be found in the literature. Indeed, reports of all types of injuries are meager, though Stout3 and Som and Neffson4 have each drawn attention to the danger of aspiration. That the continued availability of "dry ice" to enterprising children remains a danger is illustrated by the case reported here:

REPORT OF CASE  K. L., a school boy aged 14,