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June 22, 1957


JAMA. 1957;164(8):916-917. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980080086023

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To the Editor:—  The April 13 issue of The Journal had a number of good articles on the problem of accidental poisoning. Although this may not strictly pertain to the first-aid management of poisoning, it should be realized that in very serious cases the use of the artificial kidney is definitely lifesaving. Berman and others (J. A. M. A.161:820-822 [June 30] 1956) have clearly documented its effectiveness. Their most dramatic case was that of a 28-year-old woman who took 25 mg. of phenobarbital. Dialysis was begun 49 hours after ingestion of the drug and repeated twice. Her life was saved.Hemodialysis with the artificial kidney can clear the blood of intoxicants 5 to 20 times faster than fully functioning kidneys. (Schreiner and others: New England J. Med.253:213-217 [Aug. 11] 1955). When used by trained teams, the artificial kidney is a safe apparatus, as established by its

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