Medicine: Oil Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs. It can be caused by any one of 33 types of pneumococci, by many other bacteria, or by viruses. Last fortnight, in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Paul Roberts Cannon of the University of Chicago warned physicians of another, "manmade" form of the disease: oil pneumonia.

Oil pneumonia can be caused by: 1) constant use of oily nose drops; 2) nightly doses of mineral oil for constipation; 3) forced feedings of cod-liver or halibut-liver oil to rebellious children. Often the oil slides down the...

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