Author(s): Hwang KY, Lee EY, Hong SY
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Abstract In this study, the authors explored acute paraquat intoxication and determined potential factors related to paraquat fatalities. During 1999, 154 patients with paraquat intoxication were admitted to the Institute of Pesticide Poisoning at the Soonchunhyang University Chunan Hospital. The authors assessed paraquat exposure by quantifying the amount of ingested paraquat and by semiquantitative assay of paraquat in urine. Outcomes of paraquat intoxication were categorized as recovery or death. Among all the patients, 139 (90.3\%) were transferred from other medical facilities to the Institute of Pesticide Poisoning following a mean exposure time of 20.1 hr (standard deviation = 2.6 hr). Intentional ingestion of paraquat accounted for 73.4\% (113/154 patients) of all paraquat poisonings, and it represented a significantly higher fatality rate (53.2\%) than did accidental ingestion (19.1\% [p < .001]). The overall paraquat fatality was 43.8\%. Multiple logistic-regression analysis revealed that the risk of fatality increased significantly with (1) the quantity of paraquat ingested and (2) a positive urinary paraquat test. The results indicated that paraquat is potentially lethal in humans, and the risk of fatality is directly related to the amount ingested and absorbed.
This article was published in Arch Environ Health
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Toxicology