Phosphorus Poisioning

Phosphorus Poisioning


PHOSPHORUS  POISONING:

  • Phosphorus is  a protoplasmic  poison  affecting  cellular  oxidation  and causing  anoxic  necorbiosis,  classically  affecting liver.  
  • It increases  fat  deposition  and  inhibits  glycogen  deposition  in  liver.  It is  used  in  fire  works  (Diwali  poisoning)  and as  rat  poison. Lethal dose  is  60-120  mg.
  • Earliar CuSO4 was used as an antidote for phosphorous poisoning.

Phosphorus  occurs  in  two  forms:

White/yellow phosphorus:

  • It  is  white,  and  becomes  yellow  on  exposure  to  air.  
  • It  is  translucent, luminous and  crystalline cylinders.
  • It has garlic like  odor. It is  insoluble  in  water  and  luminous  in  dark. 
  • Its  fumes  show  phosphorescence.

Red phosphorus:

  • It is  reddish  brown,  inert,  odourless  and  tasteless. 
  • It  is  nontoxic  (thus  poisoning  occurs  only  due to white phosphorus.
  • It is  put  on  the  sides  (striking  surface)  of match box  (along  with  powdered  glass).

Acute  poisoning

First stage: (GI  irritation): There  is  nausea,  vomiting,  diarrhea and  garlic odor.  This stage lasts  for  8 hours to  3 days.

Second Stage (Asymptomatic) : This  stage lasts  for  3 days.

Third  Stage:

  • There is liver  and  kidney  damage due  to  absorbed  phosphorus.
  • Initially  liver  is  enlarged  due  to  acute  fatty infiItration.
  • Later  liver  shrinks  due to  necrosis,  i.e.  Acute yellow atrophy.

Chronic  poisoning

  • Toothache  is  the  first  symptom  which  is  associated  with  loosening  of  teeth,  necrosis  of  gums  and osteomyelitis  of  jaw.
  • Therefore  chronic  phosphorus poisoning  is  also  known  as  Phossy  jaw or  glass  jaw.

Postmortem appearance

  • There is  garlic odor.  viscera  and  stool  glow in  dark  (due  to  luminosity).
  • To preserve  luminosity,  viscera  are  preserved  in  saturated  saline solution  Rectified  spirit  is  not  used  as it  causes loss  of Iuminosity.

Exam Important

  • Acute yellow atrophy.
  • liver  and  kidney  damage
  • Phossy  jaw or  glass  jaw.
  • There is  garlic odor.  viscera  and  stool  glow in  dark  (due  to  luminosity)
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