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April 1, 1939


JAMA. 1939;112(13):1250-1254. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.62800130006011

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Dr. Harry Gold: The subject of the conference today is the treatment of one of the most dramatic symptoms encountered in the practice of medicine, namely convulsions.

Two features characterize this symptom, and both have an important bearing on the problems of treatment. First of all, convulsions almost invariably present an emergency. Secondly, as a symptom the convulsion not only is a manifestation of disease but is in itself a menace to life; how serious a menace to life probably depends in part on the condition in the course of which the convulsions occur. In the pharmacology laboratory this fact can be readily demonstrated. For example, a fatal dose of camphor may cause convulsions during a period of many hours before death occurs. After a fatal dose of nicotine, however, death may occur following only two or three convulsions. That death is due in the latter case to the convulsions

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