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Sept 7, 1963

Methemoglobinemia in a Hospital Nursery: A Search for Causative Factors

Author Affiliations


Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Dr. Raile), assistant professors of pediatrics (Drs. Fisch and Quie), Clinical Assistant Professor (Dr. Berglund), Instructor (Dr. Finley), University of Minnesota; Director of Clinical Laboratories, Fairview Hospital (Dr. Finley); Director of Maternal and Child Health, Minnesota Department of Health (Dr. Bridge).

JAMA. 1963;185(10):760-763. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060100040014

Eighteen cases of methemoglobinemia occurred among premature and newborn infants in a hospital nursery. Investigation revealed many suspicious anilinecontaining materials, of which trichlorocarbanilide (TCC) seemed the most likely source of toxicity. The outbreak ceased when hospital procedures were modified extensively. Subsequent laboratory tests, made in an effort to determine the specific offending substance, revealed the importance of careful clinical epidemilogical study in dealing with such situations.