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July 14, 1917


JAMA. 1917;LXIX(2):140. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590290062027

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To the Editor:  —Apropos of your timely editorial on this subject (The Journal, June 30, 1917, p. 1987), it may be of interest to note that the Hygienic Laboratory is endeavoring to secure authentic information with reference to poisoning cases reported in the public press. From Jan. 1 to June 30, 1917, 707 such cases have been reported on by physicians, and hospital and police officials; of these, 449 have been reported as. suicidal, 174 accidental and 11 homicidal. Of the 707 poisoning cases, 239 were due to mercuric chlorid, and of these 61 have, thus far, been reported as fatal.The purpose of this note is to call attention not only to the increasing number of such cases, but also to the urgent need of recognizing their possibly latent character and development. Some of these cases were reported originally as recoveries. Many of the patients are treated in emergency

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