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Case Reports
March 1945


Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pathology and Pediatrics, University of Oregon Medical School.

Am J Dis Child. 1945;69(3):173-175. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1945.02020150034006

The recent report of Young and Smith1 has called attention to the possible caustic effect of lactic acid. These writers reported 3 deaths due to the action of this substance in feeding formulas and supported their observations with data derived from experiments with rabbits. The possibility that severe reactions may occur in infants as a result of errors in preparation of feeding formulas seems to have been generally overlooked in recent years, despite the widespread use of lactic acid. While Young and Smith were unable to find mention of this substance in any of the standard textbooks on toxicology, we found it briefly discussed under both "Caustic Acids" and "Organic Acids" in Sollmann's "Manual of Pharmacology."2

We have recently encountered a case exhibiting the chronic effects of accidental swallowing of this substance. So far as we have been able to ascertain, the late sequelae of lactic acid in