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Journal Article


Flechel A, Jolivet A, Boukhari R, Misslin-Tritsch C, Manca MF, Wiel E, Mégarbane B, Pousset F. Eur. Rev. Med. Pharmacol. Sci. 2018; 22(20): 7034-7038.


Emergency Department, Centre Hospitalier de l'Ouest Guyanais, Saint-Laurent du Maroni, French Guyana.


(Copyright © 2018, Verduci)






OBJECTIVE: Paraquat poisoning has almost disappeared from metropolitan France following its ban from the European market ten years ago. However, due to neighboring countries still authorizing paraquat use, French Guyana seems in a different situation. Here we aimed to report a series of paraquat-poisoned patients admitted to the emergency department of the Western French Guyana Hospital in Saint-Laurent du Maroni, to raise awareness of national health authorities on this persistent major issue.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective observational study describing the clinical features, the prognostic factors and the final outcome of paraquat-poisoned patients admitted to the emergency department between January 2008 and August 2014.

RESULTS: Twenty-six paraquat-poisoned patients were included in the study. The median estimated paraquat dose intentionally ingested was 105 mg/kg (interquartile range, IQR: 359). Eighteen patients were treated with the cyclophosphamide/dexamethasone combination and seventeen with N-acetylcysteine in addition to the usual supportive care. Six patients survived and twenty died within a median 36h delay after admission (IQR: 130). Death was associated with cardiovascular (65%) and respiratory (35%) failure. Based on a bivariate analysis, predictive factors of death included (p≤0.05): advanced age, higher ingested paraquat dose, altered renal function, hypokalemia, acidosis, and dark blue dithionite test, observed on hospital admission.

CONCLUSIONS: Paraquat poisoning still persists in French Guyana despite its withdrawal from the market. It is possible to determine the probability of death on patient admission based on routine clinical and biological parameters. There is an urgent need to request neighboring countries to ban paraquat with the aim of eradicating this dramatically life-threatening poisoning.

Language: en


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