We describe two cases of fatal methemoglobinemia resulting from ingestion of laxative solution inadvertently contaminated with sodium nitrite. Postmortem toxicological examination revealed methemoglobin levels in excess of 75% in both patients-a level that is uniformly fatal. The laxative solution was found to contain sodium nitrite instead of sodium sulphate at a concentration of 15 g/l. The pathophysiology of methemoglobinemia and a review of other reported cases of toxic methemoglobinemia are presented. Marked cyanosis in the face of intact cardiorespiratory function should alert the physician to the possibility of toxic methemoglobinemia.
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||Israel Journal of Medical Sciences|
|State||Published - 1992|