Cases reported "Mercury Poisoning"

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1/66. Lessons to be learned: a case study approach. An unusual case of alveolar deposition from swallowing metallic mercury in an attempt at self-poisoning.

    The authors report a case of deliberate self-poisoning in a drug addict who swallowed elemental mercury: in so doing he inadvertently acquired a permanent diffuse deposition of mercury particles throughout both lung fields. Swallowed mercury should be relatively harmless in small quantity but the high specific gravity and free flowing properties of elemental mercury allowed it to overcome the normal swallowing pathways--such that some of it passed into the bronchial tree instead of passing harmlessly through the gut. In that site its significant vapour pressure, together with its potential for oxidation to inorganic mercury--which may, in turn, be absorbed across the alveolar membrane, gives high potential for mercury poisoning.
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keywords = metal
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2/66. Acute mercury vapour poisoning in a shipyard worker--a case report.

    Acute mercury vapour poisoning is a serious, potentially fatal but fortunately rarely encountered problem. It is most commonly due to industrial accidents. The vapour is a direct respiratory tract irritant as well as a cell poison, exerting its greatest effects in the lungs, nervous system, kidneys and liver. We present a case of mercury vapour poisoning in a shipyard workers presenting as an acute chemical pneumonitis, which resolved with aggressive supportive therapy. Further investigations later revealed transient mild neuropsychiatric symptoms, and residual peripheral neuropathy. No chelation therapy was instituted. The detailed investigative work that led to the discovery of the source of mercury is also presented. This case alerts us to the potential hazard to shipyard workers who may work in ships previously carrying oil contaminated with mercury. There have been no previous reports of mercury poisoning in shipyard workers. A high index of suspicion leading to early diagnosis and institution of appropriate supportive measures in suspected cases can be life-saving.
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keywords = nervous system
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3/66. A young man with a heavy heart.

    A 34 year old man presented with acute chest pain. His ECG was very abnormal but stable and he was treated with opiate analgesia. When his condition did not improve, chest radiography and cardiac ultrasound were performed. Both revealed metal dense deposits in the heart. On questioning, the patient revealed that he had self injected with mercury 15 years before. Self injection of elemental mercury is rare but well described and normally used by those who are suicidally depressed or who seek to improve sexual or athletic performance. Intravenous mercury may be deposited in the right heart and can result in ECG abnormalities, which may later be mistaken for changes due to coronary or other cardiac disease and result in inappropriate medication and hospitalisation.
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keywords = metal
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4/66. Membranous fat necrosis due to subcutaneous elemental mercury injections.

    Membranous fat necrosis (MFN) is a distinct abnormality in systemic and subcutaneous fatty tissue. Although ischemia and trauma have been implicated in its causation, the exact pathogenesis of MFN remains unknown. The deposition of metallic mercury in subcutaneous tissue due to accidental penetration or deliberate injection of mercury is unusual. Depending on the duration of the deposition, localized necrosis, suppuration, and granuloma formation have been described at mercury injection sites. We report subcutaneous MFN, a hitherto unrecognized histopathologic phenomenon at sites of mercury deposition, in a 21-year-old soccer player who had deliberate subcutaneous and intramuscular elemental mercury injections to improve his sporting performance.
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keywords = metal
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5/66. public health response to metallic mercury spills in kansas.

    Local and state public health officials are called on to respond to environmental public health hazards just as they historically have been called on to respond to communicable disease outbreaks. Recent experience with metallic mercury spills in kansas suggests that neither the legal authority nor the scientific knowledgebase is as well developed for response to environmental hazards as for communicable disease threats.
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keywords = metal
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6/66. Mercury contamination of heavy metal collection containers.

    We investigated discordant urinary mercury testing results from 2 patients with potential mercury exposures. Two patients had mercury levels of 634 and > 1,000 micrograms/L respectively. Although repeat 24 h urine mercury levels were elevated, spot urines were negative. Investigation revealed that technical HCl with high mercury content had been added to the 24 h urine collection containers. Subsequently, 20 hospitals were contacted to determine their heavy metals testing procedure and to analyze the acid used for mercury. Most hospitals contacted used acid in the preparation of their urine heavy metal collection containers. Of 13 HCl samples tested, 5 had low levels of mercury and 1 had heavy mercury content. Acid added to heavy metal collection containers should be of high purity grade to avoid mercury contamination of samples.
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ranking = 1606.401149683
keywords = heavy metal, metal
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7/66. Mercury intoxication and arterial hypertension: report of two patients and review of the literature.

    Two children in the same household with symptomatic arterial hypertension simulating pheochromocytoma were found to be intoxicated with elemental mercury. The first child was a 4-year-old boy who presented with new-onset seizures, rash, and painful extremities, who was found to have a blood pressure of 171/123 mm Hg. An extensive investigation ensued. Elevated catecholamines were demonstrated in plasma and urine; studies did not confirm pheochromocytoma. Mercury levels were elevated. These findings prompted an evaluation of the family. A foster sister had similar findings of rash and hypertension. Both had been exposed to elemental mercury in the home. The family was temporarily relocated and chelation therapy was started. A medline search for mercury intoxication with hypertension found 6 reports of patients ranging from 11 months to 17 years old. All patients showed symptoms of acrodynia. Because of the clinical presentation and the finding of elevated catecholamines, most of the patients were first studied for possible pheochromocytoma. Subsequently, elevated levels of mercury were found. Three children had contact with elemental mercury from a broken thermometer, 2 had played with metallic mercury and 1 had poorly protected occupational exposure. All responded to chelation therapy. Severe systemic arterial hypertension in infants and children is usually secondary to an underlying disease process. The most frequent causes of hypertension in this group include renal parenchymal disease, obstructive uropathy, and chronic pyelonephritis associated with reflux and renal artery stenosis. Less frequent causes include adrenal tumors, pheochromocytomas, neurofibromas, and a number of familial forms of hypertension. Other causes include therapeutic and recreational drugs, notably sympathomimetics and cocaine, and rarely, heavy metals. In children with severe hypertension and elevated catecholamines, the physician should consider mercury intoxication as well as pheochromocytoma. The health hazards of heavy metals need to be reinforced to the medical profession and the general public.
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ranking = 459.22175705229
keywords = heavy metal, metal
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8/66. Mercury-induced nummular dermatitis.

    We report 2 cases of relapsing nummular dermatitis according to mercury sensitivity, which was confirmed by patch testing. Removal of the amalgam from dental metal alloys markedly improved their skin eruptions. One of the patients, a dentist, experienced exacerbation of the eruptions on his lower legs after handling dental amalgam. hypersensitivity to haptens such as metals is possibly involved in, at least in some patients, the pathogenesis of nummular dermatitis.
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keywords = metal
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9/66. Accidental subcutaneous injection of elemental mercury. A case report.

    Subcutaneous injection of elemental mercury is a very rare situation. The authors report the case of a 31-year-old man who accidentally injected an unknown quantity of metallic mercury into his left forearm. Several surgical procedures were required to reduce the blood and urinary levels of mercury. However, the patient never developed clinical signs of chronic poisoning. This observation confirms the lower risk of acute or chronic poisoning in subcutaneous injection of mercury and the need for early excision of contaminated tissue.
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keywords = metal
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10/66. Deliberate, repeated self-administration of metallic mercury injection: case report and review of the literature.

    Self-administration of metallic mercury through the intravenous route is rare. This event has been reported in psychiatric patients and in suicide attempts. We report a case of successive intravenous self-injections of mercury demonstrated by plain film radiographs and CT scans of the thorax and abdomen.
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