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Article
March 1965

CHLORINE BLEACH EFFECT ON ESOPHAGUS

Author Affiliations

University of Miami School of Medicine Jackson Memorial Hospital Miami, Fla 33136

Arch Otolaryngol. 1965;81(3):320. doi:10.1001/archotol.1965.00750050329024

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Abstract

To the Editor.—The conclusions in the article by Drs. Landau and Saunders, "The Effect of Chlorine Bleach on the Esophagus," which appeared in the August, 1964, issue of the Archives (vol 80:174), are erroneous and completely misleading. It is imperative that all physicians entrusted with the care of patients who have accidentally or intentionally swallowed Chlorox or other liquid bleach manage them with the full recognition that it is a harmful and serious caustic in the human esophagus and can result in irreparable damage.

That it is capable of producing serious injury is attested to by the course of two patients under our care during the past three years. One was a 47-year-old Negro male who, in a pseudo-suicide attempt intentionally ingested one-half cup of Chlorox. In spite of relatively prompt attention and treatment with prednisone and antibiotics, he developed a severe stricture of his esophagus which defied conservative

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