Severe and uncommon complications of anticholinesterase intoxication in children.

Yuval Cavari, Matitiahu Lifshitz, Tom Leibson, Zamir Shorer, Marina Rubinstein, Shaul Sofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The Northern region of the Negev desert is an endemic area of organophosphate and carbamate intoxications in Bedouin children. Most victims are intoxicated by drinking the poisonous material kept by the parents in soft drink bottles. Signs and symptoms of intoxication are commonly known and generally include various effects on the central nervous system, usually a decreased level of consciousness in children, cholinergic muscarinic (sweating, rhinorrhea, miosis, vomiting) and nicotinic (weakness) effects. Specific therapy includes Atropine Sulphate and Oximes. PURPOSE AND RESULTS: To describe the course of disease of four (out of 47) children admitted to the Division of Pediatrics with organophosphate or carbamate poisoning during a two-year period. The four children 3-17 years of age ingested the poisonous material: organophosphate chlorpyrifos (2 children); carbamate methomyl (one child) and an unidentified compound in another child. Three of the four patients ingested the poison in a suicide attempt. All 4 children suffered from severe and uncommon complications, including severe respiratory failure from different etiologies. In addition, two of the four suffered from a neurological deficit causing prolonged disability. Three had renal failure necessitating hemofiltration in one case. One child had severe hemodynamic failure and arrhythmias necessitating, among other therapy, the insertion of a temporary pace maker. Two children had (laboratory) pancreatitis. One of the children with severe respiratory failure died after 38 days of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Intoxications by anticholinesterase compounds are not uncommon among Bedouin children in the Negev. This public health threat should be prevented and completely eradicated by the health authorities. Severe intoxication, especially in cases arising after suicide attempts, wherein the amount of the poisonous material is large, may be complicated by life threatening, multi-organ failure during and after the initial phase of poisoning and may progress into prolonged disability and death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-394, 434
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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