Decontamination and enhanced elimination in sustained-release potassium chloride poisoning

Naren Gunja
Emergency Medicine Australasia: EMA 2011, 23 (6): 769-72
Potassium chloride poisoning can be potentially life-threatening, particularly in massive ingestions of sustained-release preparations. Profound hyperkalaemia, developing over several hours, can lead to cardiac arrhythmias and death. This case series reports three episodes of sustained-release potassium chloride poisoning in two individuals requiring whole bowel irrigation or haemodialysis. The first two episodes, in the same patient, illustrate the contrast between the successful use of decontamination versus the need for haemodialysis. The second case, in a child, illustrates the need for tertiary level paediatric expertise in managing this type of poisoning. Whole bowel irrigation with polyethylene glycol is a resource-intensive procedure most beneficial when large numbers of radio-opaque tablets are seen in the stomach. In cases where most of the tablet matter has already been absorbed, extracorporeal methods of rapidly reducing the total body burden of potassium, such as haemodialysis, might be life-saving.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.