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March 19, 1910


JAMA. 1910;LIV(12):964. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.92550380001001n

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Directly after the introduction of cocain to the medical and dental professions, a number of accidents were reported, many of them fatal. The novelty of the drug and its effects were fascinating, and the want of experience and knowledge of its dangers, unrealized as they were by the majority of physicians, made it an extremely dangerous agent in other than the most careful hands. In common with most practitioners, I had my share of cases of cocain poisoning, though fortunately none proved fatal. By far the greater number of deaths occurred in the hands of dentists. The use of the drug was an almost daily occurrence in their practice, and they seemed especially prone to disregard its dangers.

About fifteen years ago I had as a next-door neighbor a dentist with a very large extraction practice, and it became a not uncommon occurrence for me to be called in hurriedly to

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