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October 1951

BORIC-ACID POISONING: Report of a Case and Review of the Literature

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, N. Y.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1951;82(4):465-472. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1951.02040040483010

BORIC acid and sodium borate are sufficiently poisonous to cause severe symptoms and death when used in amounts commonly considered to be perfectly harmless. Boric acid is readily absorbed by a number of different routes and is particularly insidious in that symptoms may be minimal until a lethal or near lethal dose has been absorbed. A number of cases of boric-acid poisoning have been reported in the literature, but relatively few are accompanied with laboratory data, autopsy findings, or tissue analyses for boron. A number of deaths, particularly in infants, are mentioned in the literature but have not been adequately reported. References to boric-acid poisoning are almost completely absent from the pediatric journals. The following case is presented because it occurred in an older infant without a severe complicating disease and because a complete autopsy, including tissue analysis for boron, was performed.

REPORT OF A CASE  I. C., a 9-mo.-old

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