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May 7, 1938


JAMA. 1938;110(19):1610-1611. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790190080014

The investigation of the deaths following the use of Elixir of Sulfanilamide-Massengill, as was brought out in the reports of officers and the Board of Trustees, published last week, was a noteworthy example of the work of the headquarters group of the American Medical Association for the protection of the public.1 In this work Drs. E. M. K. Geiling and Paul Cannon and their associates at the University of Chicago gave indispensable cooperation. As soon as possible after notification of apparent toxic actions following the use of this preparation was received, reports were published pointing out that diethylene glycol was the toxic agent. The number of deaths that were confirmed was seventy-six; others were reported to the government.2

Approximately six months has elapsed since this disaster. Now Drs. Paul R. Cannon and E. M. K. Geiling3 have published some further studies of pathologic effects, in both experimental

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