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October 11, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(15):918. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480410042008

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A recent unfortunate occurrence of the death of a patient in a well-known hospital from an overdose of strychnin calls for some comment. It reveals a very bad practice—which we trust is unique—of leaving the making up of solutions of powerful drugs in the hands of undergraduate nurses, and the presumption, to call it no worse, of a superior nurse who, with or without the connivance of the pharmacist, introduced the use of one-grain tablets for the purpose of making up such solutions. Another very bad feature of the case is the attempt to lay all the blame on the undergraduate nurse who administered the fatal dose, under the not unnatural supposition, under the circumstances, that she was giving the ordinary tablet dose. What business a hospital could have with one-grain tablets of strychnin is hard to appreciate, and the practice followed by the responsible parties is as reprehensible as

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