ACCORDING TO Arena,1 and Krimmel and Sunshine,2 more than 500,000 cases of poisoning occur each year in this country, with about 1,500 resultant deaths. Arena1 states that the number of child deaths from accidental poisoning exceeds the total number of deaths caused by measles, polio, scarlet fever, and diphtheria.
In many types of poisoning the primary step in treatment is to evacuate the stomach. Berry and Lambdin3 point out that one of two methods is generally employed for emptying the stomach of toxic material; stomach lavage or pharmacologically-induced emesis. There are differences of opinion as to which is the best method: Robertson4 suggested the use of syrup of ipecac, Berry and Lambdin3 prefer apomorphine hydrochloride (HCl), while Arnold et al5 found that stomach lavage is less effective than syrup of ipecac.
Since there seems to be no general agreement as to which is