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March 15, 1985

Sudden Death in Adolescents Resulting From the Inhalation of Typewriter Correction Fluid

Author Affiliations

From the Office of the Medical Investigator, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine (Drs King and Smialek), and the New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center (Dr Troutman), University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

JAMA. 1985;253(11):1604-1606. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350350098030

Inhalation abuse of various toxic agents continues to be a significant health problem among the younger segment of our society. We describe four cases of sudden death in adolescents associated with recreational sniffing of typewriter correction fluid occurring during the period 1979 through mid-1984. The solvents used in most of these fluids, 1,1,1-trichloroethane and trichloroethylene, are known to induce potentially fatal arrhythmias. Sniffing typewriter correction fluid poses a significant and underappreciated danger to the lives of these abusers. School health officials, public health departments, and law enforcement personnel should be alerted to the need for surveillance of this type of activity.

(JAMA 1985;253:1604-1606)

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