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A WARNING CONCERNING THE PROMISCUOUS USE OF CURARE IN POLIOMYELITIS

Scott M. Smith, M.D.
JAMA. 1945;129(10):707. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860440055021.
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ABSTRACT

To the Editor:—  Considerable interest has been aroused by Dr. Nicholas S. Ransohoff's preliminary report on the use of curare in 4 cases of acute poliomyelitis (The Journal, September 8, p. 129). Interest is perhaps greater in areas where the disease has reached epidemic proportions, as is true in Salt Lake City.Despite the fact that much remains to be learned about the pharmacologic aspects of curare, particularly its effects on the central synaptic transmission, all investigators are agreed that it is a most powerful agent in causing peripheral neuromuscular paralysis and is capable of producing respiratory paralysis and death.Kabat and Knapp (J. Pediat.24:123 [Feb.] 1944) have described the effects of anesthetic agents and beta-erythroidine on muscle hypertonicity in poliomyelitis. My own experience with the use of curare for the same purpose was reported in another connection (Rocky Mountain M. J.41:313 [May] 1944) and relief

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