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European journal of pediatrics

An unusual mimicker of a sepsis outbreak: ergot intoxication.


PMID 20972685

Abstract

Methylergonovine (MEV) is a semi-synthetic ergot alkaloid used in the prevention and control of postpartum hemorrhage. This report describes 12 newborns born on the same day in a local country hospital in Turkey and developed sepsis-like symptoms and encephalopathy within the first 6 h of life due to accidental administration of MEV instead of vitamin K in the delivery room. The major features of MEV poisoning were lethargy (41.7%), seizure (75.0%), feeding intolerance (66.6%), hypoventilation (58.3%), irritability (25%), and peripheral circulatory abnormalities (58.3%). As a conclusion, clinical findings of ergot toxicity in newborns cannot be distinguished from infectious disease or neonatal encephalopathy.