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May 1, 1954


JAMA. 1954;155(1):62-63. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.03690190068026

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To the Editor:  —An editorial in The Journal on treatment of pulmonary edema (J. A. M. A.154:62 [Jan. 2] 1954) called the attention of physicians to dangers of alcohol vapor treatment as advocated by us (Circulation5:363, 1952; Ann. Int. Med.37:1221, 1952; and Am. J. Obst. & Gynec.65:314, 1953).While the statements contained in that editorial are theoretically correct, they may unnecessarily lead to excessive dilution of the alcohol and thereby deprive patients of the full benefit of the treatment. It should be noted that, from reports made to us, the number of alcohol vapor treatments that have been administered to date can be reckoned in the thousands. No accidents resulting from its use have been reported.The theoretical hazards connected with its use are dependent on ignition—either from within or without the system. While flammable, alcohol-oxygen mixtures are far less explosive than

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