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May 1955


Author Affiliations

New York
From the Department of Pediatrics, Bronx Hospital; Joseph Lapin, M.D., Attending Physician.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1955;89(5):612-614. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1955.02050110726019

HEMOLYTIC anemia secondary to ingested naphthalene has only recently received attention in the American literature,* although the entity had been well described previously in world literature.† The first American report was by Zuelzer and Apt, in 1949, when they presented four cases of fulminating hemolytic anemia and, with the aid of dog studies, established this as a clinical entity.1 Subsequently, there have been additional reports in this country, bringing the total number of cases to nine, all of which, directly or indirectly, were due to moth-ball ingestion or absorption.‡ We are aware of other cases as yet unreported.§

We are reporting this case primarily to show that other home products besides moth balls and flakes contain naphthalene and are thus potentially poisonous, and secondly to reemphasize the hemolytic toxicity of naphthalene.

REPORT OF CASE  R. A. (268751), admitted Jan. 2, 1954, was a 2-year-old white boy of Puerto Rican