Medicine: Penicillin Shock

The 39-year-old Detroit woman was being treated for asthma and bronchitis with penicillin. One day a nurse gave her a routine injection of 50,000 units. Within a few seconds the patient complained of a strange taste in her mouth, and of swelling and tightness in her throat and nose. She itched all over, and turned blue in the face. Then, as she was asking for a glass of water, she collapsed and died.

The case was reported last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association by Detroit Allergist George L. Waldbott. For 18 years Dr. Waldbott has been studying cases...

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