JAMA. 1941;116(17):1911-1912. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820170029012.
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Recently The Journal published a report by Cannon,1 issued under the auspices of the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry, on the problem of lipid pneumonia, or what is frequently called "lipoid" or oil aspiration pneumonia. This type of pneumonia varies in severity, depending on the kind and amount of oil aspirated, since some oils are especially irritating. The concomitant entrance into the lungs of the irritating oil and pathogenic micro-organisms is presumably responsible for the particularly serious septic pneumonia which may follow aspiration of oil. In other instances, particularly where only small amounts of liquid petrolatum have been aspirated, minimal pulmonary damage occurs with correspondingly slight symptoms. However, harmful effects may also result from repeated entrance of oil into the lungs, its accumulation in the air spaces and its prolonged irritating effect. The development of this form of lipid pneumonia is so insidious that the diagnosis may be made


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