A case of paraquat poisoning and subsequent fatality presenting to an emergency department

Timothy Erickson, Kimberly M. Brown, Herbert Wigder, Melissa Gillespie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Paraquat (1,1'-dimethyl-4,4'-dipyridylium) is an herbicide associated with both accidental and intentional ingestion, leading to severe and often fatal toxicity. Prognosis is largely dependent on the amount of paraquat absorbed. Rapid identification of the symptoms of paraquat toxicity (burns or ulceration at the site of ingestion or injection, acute respiratory distress, and renal failure) can facilitate early treatment intervention to limit absorption. We report a case of a 71-year-old man with a suicidal ingestion of paraquat 2 days prior to presentation. Serum paraquat levels, time elapsed since ingestion, and clinical symptoms all indicated poor prognosis. The patient developed severe respiratory distress and progressive renal failure and died 6 days after admission to the hospital.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-652
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1997
Externally publishedYes



  • Fatality
  • Paraquat
  • Poisoning
  • Suicide
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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