Aluminum Phosphide Poisoning and Blast in Gastric Tube: A Case Report
BackgroundSuicide by poisoning is the second most common cause of death by suicide (27.9%) as per The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) India in 2015. Aluminum phosphide (ALP) is the leading agricultural poison used to commit suicide as where its availability is not properly regulated. ALP is a highly toxic solid fumigant pesticide, rodenticide and insecticide.
Case presentationA 40-year-old woman was brought by the police to the emergency section. Her extremities were cold and hypotonic, and her skin was pale. Patient’s vitals were unstable with pulse rate 112/minute irregularities, blood pressure 68/54 mm of Hg, respiratory rate 22/minute shallow and body temperature 30.1 ºC and characteristicly strong garlicky odor on her breath. During the suction of gastric contents, spontaneous ignition of gas with flames and white fumes with sound like a blast was observed by resident doctors and para-clinical staff. Gastric aspirate along with Ryle’s tube were immediately sent to the forensic department where the Silver Nitrate test was performed and it was found strongly positive for phosphine gas.
DiscussionAluminum phosphide readily reacts with water and hydrochloric acid in the stomach to produce phosphine (hydrogen phosphide, PH3) and a small amount of diphosphine.
ConclusionThe present case report stresses on the need that the emergency physicians need to be highly alert and adequately prepared while handling such patients. Spontaneous ignition with the release of phosphine from ALP poisoned patients can not only affect the patient, but also pose a health hazard to emergency physicians and medical staff.
Asia Pacific Journal of Medical Toxicology , Volume:8 Issue:3, 2019
101 - 103
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