Cockroach Power (F.) Kills 47 People
A remarkable mass of poisoning, involving 263 victims of whom 47 died, occurred at the Oregon State Hospital when sodium fluoride roach powder mistaken for powdered milk was added to scrambled eggs.
The prepared dish was rejected by some because of a salty or soapy taste and produced numbness of the mouth in others. Toxic signs and symptoms consisted of abrupt and severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, followed promptly by abdominal burning and cramps. In many cases blood was noted in the vomitus and feces. General collapse was evidenced by pallor, weakness, shallow pulse and respirations, weak heart sounds, wet cold skin, cyanosis, mydriasis and coma. Some victims also experienced a thick, mucoid discharge from the mouth and nose, paralysis of the muscles of deglutution, painful carpopedalspasms of the extremities and localized or generalized urticaria.
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