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Lead Encephalopathy in Saudi Arabian Children

Am J Dis Child. 1992;146(11):1257-1259. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160230015003.
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Sir.—Lead is probably the most ancient metallic poison known to man. Because of the wide dissemination of lead into our environment and its common use for various purposes, both acute and chronic forms of lead poisoning are frequently encountered.1,2 Ancient physicians depended heavily on lead as a major ingredient in the recipes they used in the treatment of their patients. In recent years, infants have been reported to fall victim to a new form of lead poisoning. Several reports from the Middle East and other countries have incriminated the faith healers who use home remedies containing lead in the treatment of childhood diseases.3-5

Patients and Methods.—During the period 1984 to 1988, 10 Saudi infants and young children (six boys and four girls) aged between 8 and 48 months were seen at the King Fahad National Guard Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for lead encephalopathy. Blood samples


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