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Ann Emerg Med. 1992 Mar;21(3):331-6.

Fatal rodenticide poisoning with brodifacoum.

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Division of Critical Care Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan.


The increased prevalence of rodents resistant to warfarin led to the development of the hydroxycoumarin anticoagulant brodifacoum. A 25-year-old man attempted suicide by consuming four boxes of d-CON Mouse-Prufe II; each box contains 42 g of bait that is 0.005% brodifacoum. He presented to a hospital nine days later with syncope, hematochezia, gross hematuria, epistaxis, anemia, and a severe coagulopathy. Radiographic studies were consistent with pleural, pericardial, and mediastinal hemorrhages. Vitamin K and fresh frozen plasma were given, and he was later discharged on oral phytonadione (vitamin K1). The patient's coagulopathy recurred, necessitating multiple plasma transfusions and prolonged treatment with oral phytonadione. Fifteen weeks after hospital discharge, he presented again with a history of additional brodifacoum ingestion. Neurologic status was initially normal, but in the emergency department he suddenly became comatose soon after emesis was induced with syrup of ipecac. Computed tomography of the brain revealed a subarachnoid hemorrhage that led to brain death less than 24 hours later. This case demonstrates the severe and prolonged coagulopathy that can result from ingestion of brodifacoum, a compound that has a toxic potency about 200-fold that of warfarin and a half-life as much as 60 times longer.

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