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March 1966

Hexachlorophene Toxicity in an Infant

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, St. Vincent's Hospital, Jacksonville, Fla. Dr. Pilapil is now a Pediatric Cardiac Fellow at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Miss.

Am J Dis Child. 1966;111(3):333-336. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1966.02090060143023

SINCE the introduction of hexachlorophene in 1948,1 it has been in increasingly wide use for topical purposes because of its relatively low toxicity and highly bactericidal properties. It has been mainly incorporated in antiseptic detergents but it is now common in baby powders, aftershave lotions, germicidal soaps, deodorants, and even tooth-paste.2 With the ever increasing availability of this agent, toxicity from accidental ingestion has become a lurking danger.

Several cases of toxicity both in children and adults due to accidental ingestion of hexachlorophene are now known, two with fatal outcome, one in an infant and one in an older child. This report was prompted by the fact that the course of prolonged accidental ingestion of hexachlorophene in an infant, with survival, has not as yet been encountered in the literature.

Report of Case  A male infant was delivered to a gravida 4, Para 2, white mother after an