Medicine: Impure Drugs

Winthrop Chemical Co. of Rensselaer, N.Y. was in trouble again last week.* The Pure Food and Drug Administration claimed that the company had distributed some 22,000 packages of improperly distilled water and 73,000 ampoules of dextrose solution (which is made with distilled water) containing pyrogens (fever-producing substances), "undissolved particles" and mold. Patients showed "unusual symptoms" when a Boston hospital used some of the dextrose in spinal anesthesia. According to an Assistant U.S. Attorney one patient died, but the doctors think he would have died anyway. Winthrop called in all the offending packages...

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