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IJMRHS. 2014; 3(2): 464-467

Acute metheamoglobinemia due to nitrobenzene poisoning: Case series

Harish Kumar S, Ujjawal Kumar, Raghavendra Prasad B N, Kiran BJ, Anil Kumar M.

Nitrobenzene is a nitrite compound; its toxic effects are due to its ability to convert hemoglobin to
methaemoglobin by oxidizing iron. The clinical features of nitrobenzene poisoning vary based on the
concentration of methaemoglobin in blood. Immediate identification based on clinical features, odour of the
compound with supporting evidence of increased methaemoglobin levels will help in a timely intervention thus
preventing fatal outcome. Early haemodynamic and ventilator support along with administration of methylene
blue as an antidote has been proved crucial in saving some lives. An acute nitrobenzene poisoning presenting with
methaemoglobinemia is becoming quite common in this part of the country. Here authorsreport a series of cases
of nitrobenzene poisoning where immediate clinical evaluation, with repeated intravenous methylene blue saved
three patients, but two patients presenting late and with heavy exposure could not be saved

Key words: Acute methaemoglobinaemia, Nitrobenzene poisoning, Ascorbic acid, Mechanical ventilator

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