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August 1963

Transplacental Bromism

Author Affiliations

William O. Robertson, MD, Children's Hospital, 561 S 17th St.; Poison Control Center, The Children's Hospital and The Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University.

Am J Dis Child. 1963;106(2):224-226. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1963.02080050226019

Drugs pregnant women swallow sometimes reach their fetuses. For example, opiates, barbiturates, progestins, and iodides following ingestion by a mother may have their aftermaths in her newborn in the form of addiction, depression, ambiguous genitalia, and goiter. The teratogenic effect of thalidomide has recently received much attention. The following case illustrates a neonate's "resistance"—in contrast to the usually expected "susceptibility"—to an inordinate amount of transplacentally acquired bromide, supporting Day's contention that prediction of toxicity is risky.1

Report of Case  A seven-day-old white female was transferred to Columbus Children's Hospital because of lethargy, poor suck, and a serum bromide of 365 mg %. During the 24 hours prior to delivery, her mother—a "nervous R.N."—had allegedly consumed approximately one quart of Miles Nervine.* It is doubtful such a large amount would be retained, but she had ingested lesser amounts regularly throughout her 39-week pregnancy. Onset of labor was spontaneous; delivery, per vaginum;