Owing to its intensely irritant properties, formaldehyd is rarely used for suicidal purposes, and few cases of poisoning with this substance have been recorded. In the literature at my disposal I find two fatal cases reported, one of which is described by L. A. Levison1 in 1904. In that case the patient swallowed between two and three ounces of commercial formaldehyd and died in collapse about twenty minutes later. Autopsy showed the mucosa of the lower part of the esophagus, stomach and first portion of the duodenum to be dark, chocolate brown in color, and of the consistency of leather. There was an excessive amount of mucus in the bronchi.
On account of the small number of cases of poisoning with formaldehyd I have thought it advisable to report this case in detail:
—Miss M. S., aged 20, swallowed about a half an ounce of formalin. I saw