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Vet Hum Toxicol. 1989 Dec;31(6):559-62.

Zinc phosphide ingestion: a case report and review.

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Department of Emergency Health Services, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Truman Medical Center 64108.


We present the case of a patient who attempted suicide by ingestion of the rodenticide zinc phosphide. Zinc phosphide manifests its immediate toxicity through production of phosphine gas. Signs and symptoms of toxicity include nausea, vomiting, dyspnea, and changes in mental status; immediate death results from pulmonary edema. Delayed effects are secondary to the absorption of phosphide, affecting primarily the liver, heart and kidneys. Delayed deaths are related to a direct cardiotoxicity. Treatment is mainly symptomatic and supportive; aggressive airway management and circulatory support are critical to a successful outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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