Atropine and pesticide poisoning
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Hum Exp Toxicol. 2008 Jun;27(6):513-8. doi: 10.1177/0960327108091861. Comparison of two commonly practiced atropinization regimens in acute organophosphorus and carbamate poisoning, doubling doses vs. ad hoc: a prospective observational study. Perera PM, Shahmy S Gawarammana I Dawson AH ; South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a wide variation and lack of evidence in current recommendations for atropine dosing schedules leading to subsequent variation in clinical practice. Therefore, we sought to examine the safety and effectiveness of a titrated vs. ad hoc atropine treatment regimen in a cohort of patients with acute cholinesterase inhibitor pesticide poisoning.
A prospective cohort study was conducted in three district secondary referral hospitals in Sri Lanka using a structured data collection form that collected details of clinical symptoms and outcomes of cholinesterase inhibitor pesticide poisoning, atropine doses, and signs of atropinization.
We compared two hospitals that used a titrated dosing protocol based on a structured monitoring sheet for atropine infusion with another hospital using an ad hoc regime.
During the study, 272 symptomatic patients with anticholinesterase poisoning requiring atropine were admitted to the three hospitals. Outcomes of death and ventilation were analyzed for all patients, 226 patients were prospectively assessed for atropine toxicity.
At baseline, patients in the titrated dose cohort had clinical signs consistent with greater toxicity. This in part may be due to ingestion of more toxic organophosphates. They received less pralidoxime and atropine, and were less likely to develop features of atropine toxicity, such as delirium (1% vs. 17%), hallucinations (1% vs. 35%), or either (1% vs. 35%) and need for patient restraint (3% vs. 48%) compared with the ad hoc dose regime.
After adjusting for the pesticides ingested, there was no difference in mortality and ventilatory rates between protocols.
Ad hoc high dose atropine regimens are associated with more frequent atropine toxicity without any obvious improvement in patient outcome compared with doses titrated to clinical effect.
Atropine doses should be titrated against response and toxicity. Further education and the use of a structured monitoring sheet may assist in more appropriate atropine use in anticholinesterase pesticide poisoning.