Surviving accidental paraquat ingestion: a limited evidence zone

Elise Davey, Justin Davis and Deborah Friedman
Med J Aust 2015; 203 (8): . || doi: 10.5694/mja15.00589
Published online: 19 October 2015

A 17-year-old youth accidentally ingested paraquat, a herbicide which is an uncommon but potentially highly lethal cause of poisoning. He was initially managed at a regional hospital where, upon advice from a Victorian Poisons Information Centre toxicologist, he was commenced on dexamethasone, continuous venovenous haemodiafiltration (CVVHDF), and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) and sodium salicylate infusions. He was transferred to a transplant centre for consideration of lung transplantation where he was maintained on CVVHDF, dexamethasone and NAC for 2 weeks. Fortunately, despite ingestion of a potentially lethal dose of paraquat at 36.48 mg/kg, he recovered with mild restrictive respiratory deficits, steroid side effects, and oropharyngeal burns as sequelae.

  • 1 Barwon Health, Geelong, VIC
  • 2 University Hospital Geelong, Geelong, VIC


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Agarwal R, Srinivas R, Aggarwal AN, Gupta D. Immunosuppressive therapy in lung injury due to paraquat poisoning: a meta-analysis. Singapore Med J 2007; 48: 1000-1005.
  • 2. Senarathna L, Eddleston M, Wilks MF, et al. Prediction of outcome after paraquat poisoning by measurement of the plasma paraquat concentration. QJM 2009; 102: 251-259.
  • 3. Gawarammana IB, Buckley NA. Medical management of paraquat ingestion. Br J Clin Pharmacol 2011; 72: 745-757.
  • 4. Koo JR, Kim JC, Yoon JW, et al. Failure of continuous venovenous hemofiltration to prevent death in paraquat poisoning. Am J Kidney Dis 2002; 39: 55-59.
  • 5. Gawarammana I, Mohammed BN, Naser F, et al. A randomised controlled trial of high-dose immunosuppression in paraquat poisoning. Clin Toxicol 2012; 50: 278.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.