Severe Acute Copper Sulphate Poisoning: A Case Report
As copper sulphate pentahydrate (CSP) is a common compound used in agriculture and industry, chronic occupational exposures to CSP are well known, but acute poisoning is rare in the Western world. This case report describes acute poisoning of a 33-year-old woman who attempted suicide by ingesting an unknown amount of CSP. On admission to the hospital, she had symptoms and signs of severe hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, dehydration, renal dysfunction and methaemoglobinaemia with normal serum copper level. Therapy included early gastric lavage, fluid replacement, vasoactive drugs, furosemide, antiemetic drugs, ranitidine, and antidotes methylene blue and 2,3-dimercaptopropane-1-sulphonate (DMPS). However, the patient developed severe intravascular haemolysis, acute severe hepatic and renal failure, as well as adrenal insufficiency. After prolonged, but successful hospital treatment, including haemodialysis and IV hydrocortisone, the patient was discharged with signs of mild renal and liver impairment. Our conclusion is that in severe cases of copper poisoning early supportive measures are essential. In addition, antidotes such as methylene blue for methaemoglobinaemia and chelating agent such as DMPS improve morbidity and survival of severely poisoned victims.
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