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November 7, 1896


JAMA. 1896;XXVII(19):1018. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430970040009

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The recent death of a patient in a physician's operating room from the effects of cocain again calls attention to the dangers attending the use of this drug. Regarding the case in question we have no criticisms to offer, as the circumstances were such that a general anesthetic would apparently have been more dangerous than cocain. While in this instance no blame can be attached to the medical attendant for the untoward result, it at the same time recalls the deadly power of this drug. The number of fatal cases so far reported is happily not many, but those of severe poisoning are quite numerous. The employment of cocain is largely on the increase, it being frequently prescribed by druggists for the relief of toothache and other forms of local pain. It is also used by dentists, and oftentimes in a most reckless manner.

The poisonous properties of cocain seem

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