ROGER P. SMITH, PH.D.
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To the editor: The September issue carries accounts of two remarkably similar tragedies. Three deaths and a serious nonfatal poisoning occurred in a liquid manure storage facility (1), and three deaths and two nonfatal poisonings occurred in an abandoned cesspool (2). I suggest that the similarities go beyond coincidence. The first accident was ascribed to hydrogen sulfide poisoning, but the second seems more likely to have been due to the same cause instead of to simple hypoxia. Putrifying fecal material has been associated with the evolution of hydrogen sulfide for centuries (3), and the rapid "knock-down" in both cases is
SMITH RP. Nitrite Treatment for Hydrogen Sulfide Poisoning. Ann Intern Med. ;95:782. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-95-6-782_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1981;95(6):782.
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