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Cyanide Poisoning, Emergency Medicine

Reviewed 06/2017



  • Toxicity through inhalation, or GI tract absorption

  • Intracellular toxin that inhibits aerobic metabolism through interruption of oxidative phosphorylation:

    • Leads to decreased O2 utiliz...


Signs and Symptoms

  • Heart and brain—most sensitive organs—1st to show manifestation of toxicity

  • CNS:

    • Headache

    • Confusion

    • Syncope

    • Seizures

    • Coma

  • Cardiovascular:

    • Dyspnea

    • Chest pain

    • Cardiorespiratory collaps...



  • Remove source of CN.

  • Prevent others from becoming contaminated.

  • Remove and bag all contaminated clothing and wash affected areas copiously with soap and water if a liquid exposure....

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