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August 15, 1914

THE TOXICITY OF CAMPHOR (CAMPHORATED OIL)

JAMA. 1914;LXIII(7):579. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02570070059017

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Abstract

In his "Therapeutics" (edition of 1906), H. C. Wood makes the following statement: "Although camphor has, in many cases, produced very alarming symptoms, over 200 grains of it have been taken without permanent result and the recorded fatal poisonings are very few. The only ones known to us are,—adult, quantity unknown; sickly infant, 10 grains; child, 2 years old, quantity unknown; fatal abortion produced by 3 drachms."

On the evening of June 3, M. C., a particularly robust infant of 18 months, weighing 31 pounds, was given, immediately after a full supper of milk and cereal, a brimming teaspoonful of camphorated oil (linimentum camphorae) by mistake. Two hours later I saw the child. It was sleeping quietly and naturally, with cheeks somewhat flushed and the scalp quite wet with perspiration, not an unusual phenomenon with it; the pulse was 110, the respiration 24. When awakened, the infant was found to

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