Acute Methyl Alcohol Poisoning

  • Published 2007


Dec. 7, 1934, the coroner's office of Multnomah County, Ore., was he ^,t called on to investigate the death of a man who died from so-called s J' denatured or "dehorn" alcohol poisoning. The death of this man was followed in dramatic and rapid succession by the deaths of twenty-one oth ers in the two succeeding days. All of these victims were known to law enforcement officers as having an addiction to alcohol and were commonly referred to as "dehorns"; their family connections were unknown or distant; they lived in cheap rooming houses, worked occasionally and were incarcerated from time to time for drunkenness and vagrancy but otherwise were harmless. Several of the group were wayward members of prominent families. Their ages ranged from 32 to 65, six being in the third, five in the fou rth, nine in the fifth and two in the sixth decade of life. Fourteen died after a short time at the Good Samaritan Hospital (attended by Dr. Fred Ziegler), and one, in the Multnomah County Hospital. Five were found dead in hotel rooms and one in a barn. One died in an unknown place in a neighboring city. Their renegade character, their furtive indulgence in their vice and their isolation from interested relatives and friends obscured many of the details of the final episodes that ended the lives of these unfortunate men. The available clinical data disclosed only some of the terminal signs apd symptoms observed during the brief hospitalization of fourteen of the patients and the details of the illness of another who died at home. Of' the ourteen who were hospitalized, five were conscious on arrival, while a similar number were in deep coma; the rest were semicomatose. Most of them were in profound shock, being cold, clammy, pale and perspiring excessively. It was frequently stated that their clothing or the bed clothing was "soaked with perspiration." Three were sufficiently rational to relate some of their subjective symptoms. In the several instances in which it was possible to record the blood pressure, the systolic readings ranged from 110 to 140 and the diastolic readings friii78 to 90, suggesting an increase of pressure

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@inproceedings{2007AcuteMA, title={Acute Methyl Alcohol Poisoning}, author={}, year={2007} }