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Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2012 Feb;50(2):145-8. doi: 10.3109/15563650.2012.655282.

Subperitoneal pelvic exposure of elemental mercury from a broken thermometer.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Surgery, Children's Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.


Subperitoneal pelvic exposure of elemental mercury from a broken thermometer is quite rare. The outcome and intervention for such a situation is uncertain. A 10-month-old boy was exposed to elemental mercury when a mercury thermometer was broken while being used to measure a central temperature rectally. Deposits of mercury were localized in the subperitoneal pelvic cavity, as seen on consecutive abdominal films and CT scan. Serum and urine mercury concentrations were elevated but no systemic symptoms or signs were found. Laparoscopic surgery removed most of the mercury deposits but failed to remove them completely. At the 11-month follow-up, serum and urine mercury concentrations normalized and no systemic toxicity was present.

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