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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 46-51

Organophosphorus poisoning: A social calamity

1 Department of Medicine, MGIMS, Sewagram, Wardha, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Ophthalmology, MGIMS, Sewagram, Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Udit Narang
Department of Medicine, MGIMS, Sewagram, Wardha, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-9903.151736

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Poisoning with organophosphorus (OP) compounds is a global public health problem. According to World Health Organization (WHO), 3 million cases of pesticide (mainly OP compounds) poisoning occur every year, resulting in an excess of 250,000 deaths. Of these, about 1 million are accidental, and 2 million are suicidal poisonings. The incidence has steadily increased in the recent past and has reached a level in the developing countries, where it can be called a "social calamity." Diagnosis is mainly on clinical grounds. The wellknown antidotes of OP poisonings are atropine and oximes. However, investigations over the recent years have introduced new adjunct therapy and cheap medications such as sodium bicarbonate and magnesium sulfate as well as antioxidants that should be considered for the management of OP poisoning. While efficacy of atropine is clinically proven, clinical experience with pralidoxime has been controversial. A lot of new modalities of management like K-oximes, hemoperfusion, and Fresh frozen plasma are under evaluation. Prevention still appears to be the best modality of management. Appropriate legislations and pesticides control are recommended for the developing countries to prevent occupational, accidental, and intentional poisonings.

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