Background: Aluminum phosphide is the common cause of poisoning in adults in India, with a very high case fatality ratio. We studied five patients of aluminum phosphide poisoning with polyserositis. Methods: We enrolled all patients with aluminum phosphide poisoning presenting to emergency medical department, at a tertiary care hospital in northwestern India from January to July 2006. These patients were managed according to a standard treatment protocol and their complications were recorded. Results: During the study period, total of 35 patients were admitted with 57.5% mortality in the first 12 hours. Among the rest, 5 patients were found to develop polyserositis. All these patients had severe hypotension at presentation and developed respiratory distress requiring mechanical ventilation after an average stay of 3.8 days post-ingestion. They were managed conservatively and four of them were discharged from the hospital after the average stay of 10 days. Conclusion: In this case series, features of polyserositis (pleural effusion, ascites and pericardial effusion) were found in 15% patients of severe aluminum phosphide poisoning. We postulate systemic capillary leak syndrome, secondary to mitochondrial damage in the endothelium, as a possible mechanism.
Polyserositis: An Unusual Complication of Aluminum Phosphide Poisoning
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