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Veterinary and human toxicology

Experiences with acute organophosphate poisonings in Crete.


PMID 8693683

Abstract

Nine human acute poisonings due to intentional ingestion of organophosphorous pesticides are presented. Six of the victims died. Six patients were treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) from 34 h to 45 d, while 3 were found dead by relatives. Two of the patients treated in the ICU fully recovered after 15 and 24 d while the third survivor developed delayed neuropathy. Organophosphate blood levels were determined on admission and during therapy, and in 1 case atropine and pralidoxime levels were also detected. Significant fluctuations of the plasma cholinesterase activity were observed during therapy. Postmortem analysis revealed higher levels of pesticides in organs (eg 23.1 micrograms fenthion/g kidney) and in fat (135.2 micrograms fenthion/g) than in blood (eg 4.8 micrograms fenthion/ml) and vitreous humor. Considerable pesticide was measured in testis (eg 5.8 micrograms fenthion/g, 0.8 micrograms methidathion/g) and uterus (170.5 micrograms malathion/g). Extracorporeal decontamination to enhance pesticide elimination is a therapeutic challenge.

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