[Cholinesterase inhibitor poisoning: a complicated medical challenge]

Ophir Lavon, Ram Sagi
Harefuah 2013, 152 (7): 395-7, 434
Exposure to insecticides, mainly cholinesterase inhibitors, is a global problem with substantial morbidity and mortality. Risk of intoxication is increased in rural areas where there is high availability and proximity of insecticides to families and children. Neglected storage and inadequate practice lead to dangerous exposure. Strict regulations and appropriate safety measures are needed for the prevention of exposure to insecticides. Broad toxicological knowledge is necessary in order to treat organophosphate and carbamate poisoned patients. Diagnosis is not trivial, since the identity of the poison is not always apparent. Multiple exposures including organic solvents are possible. The clinical presenting can be confusing. Measurement of cholinesterase activity is mandatory in establishing the diagnosis. Prompt treatment with proper antidotes and respiratory support is indicated. Early administration of anticonvulsants may mitigate central neurologic complications. Monitoring neurologic and cardiac function is advised for rapid identification of complications and prognosis evaluation. Meticulous preparedness of health care providers for insecticide poisoning is needed from the pre-hospital phase to emergency departments and the different hospital wards.

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