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BISMUTH POISONING:  TWO CASES, WITH ONE FATALITY, FOLLOWING INJECTION OF BISMUTH-VASELIN PASTE

V. C. DAVID, M.D.; J. R. KAUFFMAN, M.D.
JAMA. 1909;LII(13):1035-1036. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.25420390031002f.
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ABSTRACT

The injection of bismuth-vaselin paste for the treatment of tuberculous cavities, sinuses and fistulas was introduced by Dr. E. Beck in April, 1908. Its use has been enthusiastically advocated by many and it is now a routine procedure in many of our hospitals. Numerous brilliant results have been reported. The simplicity of the technic, the uncomplicated formula of the mixture, and the painlessness of its administration, appeal to all who have charge of these chronic cases.

At the Cook County Hospital bismuth-vaselin paste has been used extensively, not only for tuberculous cavities and sinuses, but for empyemas, fistulæ in ano, and as bone plugs after mastoid operations, without fear of toxic effect. It is therefore of marked interest to note that in the last four months two cases of bismuth poisoning have occurred following the use of a moderate amount of the paste.

A preliminary report of the cases is

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