Organophosphate and carbamate poisoning: Review of the current literature and summary of clinical and laboratory experience in Southern Israel

Tom Leibson, Matitiahu Lifshitz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

Organophosphate and carbamate are mainly used to kill insects, thereby protecting livestock, crops, homes and communities. Yet, these compounds also convey great danger. OP and CRB poisoning is an important clinical problem, often life-threatening, especially in the pediatric population in rural areas where reaching a physician or hospital on time is difficult. We present a summary of accumulated toxicological knowledge as well as clinical and laboratory experience from a medical center serving a relatively vast rural area and pediatric population. We stress the importance of knowing how to recognize the classic signs of OP and CRB poisoning and when it is appropriate to investigate for such poisoning even in the absence of those signs. Like any medical emergency, OP and CRB poisoning requires prompt resuscitation and use of antidotes. Atropine, oxygen and fluids are the mainstay of therapy. Oximes, which were found useful in some cases of OP poisoning and useless in some cases of CRB poisoning, are absolutely safe as empiric treatment, which is often needed since trie major differential diagnosis of OP poisoning is CRB poisoning, which is clinically indistinguishable. We hope that continuing research will offer further insights into the management of such events, and we are confident that improved medical management of OP and CRB poisoning will result in a reduction of morbidity and other complications associated with intensive care procedures and hospitalization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-770
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Volume10
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2008

Keywords

  • Carbamates
  • Cholinesterase
  • Insecticides
  • Organophosphates
  • Poisoning

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