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June 1962

Keloids and Barbiturate Coma

Arch Dermatol. 1962;85(6):747-748. doi:10.1001/archderm.1962.01590060057013

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Here is a brief tale of 3 women, ages 27, 30, and 35, who attempted suicide by barbiturates, recovered, and developed keloids on areas of skin injured during coma. The drugs, pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal), butabarbital sodium (Butisol), and secobarbital sodium (Seconal); the time, all during the past 2 years. We do not believe this odd sequence has been noted previously.

Each of the patients was restrained in an oxygen tent, and coma lasted 4, 4, and 5 days. As the coma waned, there was considerable agitation. Knees and ankles were banged against each other and against the bed rails, and bony points were subjected to much friction on the bed sheets. Involved skin quickly blistered, eroded, and crusted, but soon healed with simple dressings.

We saw the women for the first time 5, 18, and 12 months later, and herein illustrate the lesions of the patients aged 27 and 35. None gave personal or family histories of other keloids, and all were

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