phosphorus poisoning

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phosphorus poisoning

Poisoning caused by the ingestion of substances containing yellow phosphorus, such as rat poison or roach poison. Yellow phosphorus is used in manufacturing fireworks and fertilizers.


Liver failure may follow acute irritation of the gastrointestinal tract. There may also be kidney damage. Other symptoms include profound weakness, hemorrhage, and heart failure. Occasionally nervous system symptoms predominate.

Patient care

Gastric lavage is performed if phosphorus was swallowed. The airway is protected by cuffed endotracheal intubation. Charcoal and a cathartic drug are administered. Depending on the length of time since ingestion, intravenous fluids may be used to flush the poison out of the system by diuresis. In some cases, peritoneal or hemodialysis may be needed. The patient requires close monitoring for delayed effects for at least 24 hr. If the poison was intentionally ingested, the patient is placed on suicide precautions and referred for further psychological counseling.

See also: poisoning
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References in periodicals archive ?
The report concluded: "The autopsy failed to identify any other likely cause of death therefore white phosphorus poisoning is likely to be the cause of death of this goose and it could also explain the clinical signs reported to be exhibited by the goose prior to death.
Real progress against phosphorus poisoning in the match industry originated in Europe.
Andrews's report succeeded in attracting considerable attention to the problem of phosphorus poisoning, and the AALL reformers were quick to exploit their success.(21) Henry Farnam wrote to President Taft urging action, and Andrews began working with Congressman John J.
We excluded those patients in whom organ phosphorus poisoning was doubtful and patients who have consumed more than one poison.
DISCUSSION: Organo phosphorus poisoning is the commonest type of self- poisoning presenting and admitted in ICU in our set-up.