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June 4, 1973

Magnesium Sulfate Enema in a NewbornFatal Systemic Magnesium Absorption

JAMA. 1973;224(10):1392-1393. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220240042010

Fatal systemic magnesium intoxication followed the administration of a magnesium sulfate enema for the therapy of presumed hyaline membrane disease in a newborn infant. Despite antemortem recognition of its occurrence and attempted therapy with an exchange transfusion, the infant died. Coupled with a lack of any demonstrable efficacy of this therapy for hyaline membrane disease, the toxicity is such as to prohibit its further use.