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April 1915

STUDIES ON INFANT METABOLISM AND NUTRITION: The Excretion by Infants of Magnesium Sulphate Injected Subcutaneously

Author Affiliations

From the Chemical Laboratories of The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research and The Babies' Hospital, New York.

Am J Dis Child. 1915;IX(4):318-321. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1915.04100460059004

Since Meltzer and Auer demonstrated the narcotic action of magnesium salts injected into the circulation, several clinical applications of this action have been found valuable.

For example, magnesium sulphate has been used intraspinally with excellent results to combat the convulsions of tetanus,1 in many parts of the world.2 Magnesium sulphate also induces an anesthesia which permits surgical intervention.3 It has recently been found that a combination of magnesium sulphate (subcutaneous) and ether (inhalation), produces a surgical anesthesia which is not obtained when either in the same amount is used alone.4 It may also be mentioned that saturated solutions of magnesium sulphate are employed for the local treatment of burns and erysipelas.

Recently, Behrend5 has utilized magnesium sulphate, injected subcutaneously into infants, to alleviate the convulsions of tetany. The salt proved remarkably effective in immediately stopping convulsions and reducing the condition of hyperirritability. As the effect

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