HC Deb 20 May 1954 vol 527 c2263
10. Dr. Stross

asked the Minister of Health how many Children and how many adults have died following, and as a result of, treatment by chloramphenicol in 1952 and 1953.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I regret that the information is not available.

Dr. Stross

Is the Minister aware that there have been deaths, particularly of children, reference to which is seen in the medical Press from time to time? Would he agree that it is fair to say that this powerful and most useful drug should only be used for children if other drugs are not available or will not do the work?

Mr. Macleod

I should not like to comment upon the second part of the supplementary question, for it is not really a matter upon which a layman should pronounce. Certainly considerable dangers are involved in the use of the drug, and there have been a number of deaths. These deaths are not recorded because it is not a notifiable cause of death, but it is known that there have been a number. Most of them, I think, have been due to an overdose being given.