Archives for January 15, 2005

A Word of thanks to the Computer backup gods

Tonight, while trying to teach my old blog new tricks, I managed to corrupt my .htaccess file. If you aren’t now giggling or having tears stream down your face, good, that means you’re normal.

For the rest of us, I lucked out: I had a recent full backup and was able to restore just that file from the backup. Hallelujah.

I will now go and faint for a while.

Last 2 days to vote

…for the medical weblog awards. There are 4 categories, and a lot of excellent blogs. Voting ends on Sunday, so if you haven’t already, go and vote for somebody!

Asphyxiation, not Bleach Toxicity killed 12 year old

Via CNN, which has the editor’s tease title:”Police: Girl died after mother forced her to drink bleach

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (AP) — A woman angry with her 12-year-old daughter for having sex forced the girl to drink bleach and sat on her until the child died, a police detective said.

Archie is charged with capital murder in the asphyxiation death of her daughter Jasmine. If convicted, she could be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.

She said she poured bleach into Jasmine’s mouth and the child vomited, he said, then sat on her until she stopped breathing, Cotton testified.

Asphyxiation is not that uncommon a way to die, though this is certainly an extreme event.

What this is not is bleach toxicity. Household bleach is less than 6% hypochlorite, and according to my toxicology reference text is a “mild gastrointestinal irritant”:

“…little or no effect in small ingestions. In moderate to large ingestions, gastrointestinal effects such as diarrhea, constipation, stomach cramps, or vomiting may occur. The effects are usually mild and rarely require medical intervention”.

Though, as a parent, if you caught your child drinking bleach, then vomiting, you’d be forgiven for being alarmed (but not forgiven for letting your kid get to bleach in the first place).*

If it is your kid, call poison control for your area (you have their number, right there on the fridge, right?). More than likely they’ll tell you to have the patient drink some milk, and wait it out. (This is NOT medical advice: I’m a doctor, but I’m not YOUR doctor).**

So, bleach didn’t kill this poor child, asphyxia did. I don’t know if CNN was just sloppy here, or if this was intentional to make this report more dramatic. The cynic in me says the latter.

Wow, suddenly I feel like CodeBlueBlog!
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