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Acute Bicarbonate Intoxication From a Folk Remedy

Am J Dis Child. 1981;135(10):965. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1981.02130340069020.
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Natural products and folk remedies are currently in vogue in this country. However, numerous folk remedies can be dangerous when given to small children and infants. We recently studied an unusual case of acute metabolic alkalosis in an infant who had been given sodium bicarbonate in a home cold remedy.

Report of a Case.—A 4-kg, 4-month-old girl had been in good health until 24 hours before admission to the hospital, when "cold" symptoms developed, with cough, rhinitis, and fever without history of diarrhea. The child had been premature, with a birth weight of 1.6 kg, and had had an uncomplicated postnatal course, being discharged home at 6 weeks of age. Two hours prior to admission, the child became apneic and cyanotic during a bath. Physical examination in the emergency room revealed a cyanotic child in moderate respiratory distress. The child appeared clinically dehydrated, but the parents reported only one


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