Cyanide poisoning


Cyanides are a rarely used but potentially deadly poison. They are salts of hydrocyanic acid and work by making it impossible for the human body to absorb life-sustaining oxygen.

What are the causes?

The main sources of cyanide poisoning are:

• Fires – smoke inhalation from the burning of commonly used household materials such as rubber, plastic and silk can release cyanide fumes.
• Photographic materials, chemical research , synthetic plastics, the industrial enterprises processing metals and the galvanic industry, where cyanides are used.
Plants containing cyanide are apricot pits and the plant from the potato family – cassava. Fortunately, just prolonged or single ingestion of a large amount of any of these plants can lead to life-threatening cyanide poisoning.
Laetrile – a compound included to B group of vitamins with number 17 and containing laetrile – found in the stones of raw fruits, nuts and in the fruits of plants, is used to treat cancer in some parts of the world such as Mexico, due to the contained in it cyanides that destroy cancer cells. But it has been established that when large amounts of this vitamin are ingested, it can cause poisoning of the body.
Certain chemicals after ingestion can be converted by the body into cyanides. Most of these chemicals have been withdrawn from the market as dangerous, but some old nail polish removers, solvents and raw materials for plastic production may contain these dangerous substances.
Cigarette smoke is the most the common source of cyanides. They occur naturally in tobacco, and the blood of smokers can contain 2.5 times more cyanides than the average concentration in the blood of non-smokers. But this amount is not enough to cause poisoning.
People who are at the highest risk of poisoning who work in enterprises using the salts of hydrocyanic acid, as well as those who attempt to commit suicide.
• Most people are at risk of poisoning, only in the event of a fire and prolonged inhalation of cyanide fumes or by accidental ingestion of some of the above compounds.< /p>

What are the symptoms?

Cyanide poisoning is difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are very similar to those of suffocation because the cyanides prevent the absorption of oxygen by the cells of the human body > that they need to survive. The signs of poisoning are also similar to the manifestations of altitude sickness.

• General weakness, confusion, strange behavior, unusual sleepiness, shortness of breath, headache, dizziness, seizures, and in severe cyanide poisoning, the affected person may even fall into a coma. p>

• Usually, when a large amount of cyanide is ingested, there is a sudden, dramatic reaction of the body, due to the rapid effect on the heart muscle, and this causes collapse. Poisoning can immediately affect the brain and lead to fainting or coma.

Treatment of cyanide poisoning

Depending on the condition of the poisoned, the method of treatment is determined:

• If he is completely unconscious, everything possible will be done to save his life.
• If the condition of the poisoned person is not serious, he will be assigned full examinations. His clothes are usually removed, as the cyanide residue on them can continue to poison both him and those who care for him.
• If there is a suspicion of recent ingestion of cyanides, a tube is placed from the nose into the stomach with the help of which it is thoroughly washed.
• If there is a reasonable suspicion of cyanide poisoning, the antidote hydroxocobalamin is used. strong> Although not 100% effective, the medication will prevent further poisoning.

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