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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 1780-1784

Paraquat poisoning in Andaman and Nicobar Islands – Government must intervene

1 Department of Medicine, ANIIMS, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India
2 Department of Medicine, AIIMS, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Prasan Kumar Panda
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, ANIIMS, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_2020_20

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Paraquat poisoning is a grave public health problem in the Andaman and Nicobar islands of India. To evaluate various aspects of paraquat poisoning that influence the outcome, a retrospective study was planned. In this case series study, the information about all cases of acute paraquat poisoning who were admitted to GB Pant Hospital, Port-Blair, in a 12-year period (January 2007–December 2018) were evaluated. A total of 29 referred patients were evaluated with the majority from the early productive age of 16–30 years (68.97%). The case fatality rate was 100%. Most of the incidents took place in South Andaman district (68.97%) and during the rainy season (55.17%). Initially, they presented with local symptoms like mouth and throat pain with ulceration (48.27%), vomiting (44.82%), breathlessness (34.48%), epigastric and abdominal pain (31.03%), hematemesis (27.58%), and oliguria (20.68%). Later on, major organ dysfunctions like a respiratory failure (65.51%), acute kidney injury (62.08%), acute liver failure (55.17%), cardiac dysfunction (31.03%), and multiorgan failure (58.62%) ensued. Patients who were referred early had a significantly longer hospital stay. Few received advanced care, like, methyl prednisolone (24.12%), cyclophosphamide (10.34%), Mesna/NAC (06.89%), charcoal tablets (10.34%), mechanical ventilation (06.89%), and hemodialysis (10.34%). Apart from hemodialysis in acute kidney injury patients and steroid pulse, no other modalities showed improved hospital survival duration. Primary prevention especially government laws, public awareness, and education of health professionals regarding the seriousness of this problem are the keys to get rid of this incurable poisoning in these islands. The government should prioritize preventive works in the south Andaman district and during the rainy season to avoid catastrophe each year and if possible should ban it. Methyl prednisolone therapy and hemodialysis might be advocated to have a better outcome.

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