Document Detail

Formic acid: a rare but deadly source of carbon monoxide poisoning.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18363119     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
INTRODUCTION: Formic acid decomposes upon contact with strong acids producing carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide poisoning from such a source, however, is extremely rare. CASE REPORT: A 26-year-old man committed suicide by mixing 2.5 L of formic acid and 2.5 L of sulfuric acid in three beakers and staying in a closed room. The 53-year-old father performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on his son but soon lost consciousness. In hospital, he initially manifested coma, hypoxemia, metabolic acidosis, and a carboxyhemoglobin level of 45.8%. He was treated with hyperbaric oxygen but developed acute respiratory distress syndrome on day four despite an early improvement. He was successfully weaned from the ventilator on day 8. The 53-year-old mother felt dizziness, headache and had a carboxyhemoglobin level of 23.0%. Her symptoms improved after oxygen therapy. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Formic acid is a highly fatal source of carbon monoxide poisoning when mixed with sulfuric acid. In addition to the toxicities of carbon monoxide, concomitant inhalation of formic acid fumes can cause severe lung injury, which may complicate the management of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Chen-Chang Yang; Jiin Ger; Chun-Fang Li
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Clinical toxicology (Philadelphia, Pa.)     Volume:  46     ISSN:  1556-9519     ISO Abbreviation:  Clin Toxicol (Phila)     Publication Date:  2008 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-03-25     Completed Date:  2008-06-12     Revised Date:  2009-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101241654     Medline TA:  Clin Toxicol (Phila)     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  287-9     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
National Yang-Ming Uinversity, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
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MeSH Terms
Carbon Monoxide / chemical synthesis
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning / etiology*,  pathology,  therapy
Fatal Outcome
Formic Acids / chemistry*
Hyperbaric Oxygenation
Middle Aged
Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Adult / etiology*,  pathology
Sulfuric Acids / chemistry*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Formic Acids; 0/Sulfuric Acids; 630-08-0/Carbon Monoxide; 64-18-6/formic acid; 7664-93-9/sulfuric acid

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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