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Refractory cardiopulmonary failure after glyphosate surfactant intoxication: a case report

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Author(s): Chang Chirn-Bin | Chang Chia-Chu

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

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 2;
Date: 2009;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background Glyphosate is an herbicide considered to be of low toxicity to humans because its effects are specific to plants. However, fatal reactions to glyphosate have been reported after the ingestion of large amounts. Pulmonary edema, shock, and arrhythmia were the reported causes of mortality. Case presentation We present the case of a 57-year-old woman who was admitted to the emergency department unconsciousness after ingestion of glyphosate surfactant in a suicide attempt. Metabolic acidosis, refractory respiratory failure, and shock developed during hospitalization. Despite aggressive supportive care, the patient died in the hospital. Conclusion The toxicokinetics of glyphosate surfactant is complicated. Respiratory failure, metabolic acidosis, tachycardia, elevated creatinine, and hyperkalemia are poor prognostic factors if presented. Physicians should consider using hemodialysis early to improve the outcome of patients with glyphosate surfactant intoxication.
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