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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine