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Evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of lead poisoning in a patient with occupational lead exposure: a case presentation

Author(s): Herman D'souza | Geraldine Menezes | Venkatesh Thuppil

Journal: Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology
ISSN 1745-6673

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 7;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Abstract Amongst toxic heavy metals, lead ranks as one of the most serious environmental poisons all over the world. Exposure to lead in the home and the workplace results in health hazards to many adults and children causing economic damage, which is due to the lack of awareness of the ill effects of lead. We report the case of a 22 year old man working in an unorganized lead acid battery manufacturing unit, complaining about a longer history of general body ache, lethargy, fatigue, shoulder joint pain, shaking of hands and wrist drop. Patient had blue line at gingivodental junction. Central nervous system (CNS) examination showed having grade 0 power of extensors of right wrist & fingers. Reflexes: Supinator- absent, Triceps- weak and other deep tendon reflexes- normal. Investigations carried out during the admission showed hemoglobin levels of 8.3 g/dl and blood lead level of 128.3 μg/dl. The patient was subjected to chelation therapy, which was accompanied by aggressive environmental intervention and was advised not to return to the same environmental exposure situation. After repeated course of chelation therapy he has shown the signs of improvement and is on follow up presently.

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