On May 1, the emergency room of the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University was extremely busy. A total of 8 people from 3 small and 5 large were transferred from Pujiang to the hospital because they ate wild strawberries sprayed with paraquat.
Remind everyone to be careful when picking and eating wild fruits on the roadside while hiking. Be sure to confirm whether pesticide has been sprayed. For example, paraquat, a small dose is lethal, unlike other pesticides, which have special antidotes. Once poisoned, the consequences will be very serious.
Dr. Clove invited Dr. Lei Xin from the Kidney Disease Center of Zhejiang University No.1 Hospital to tell everyone about the harm of paraquat.
Raspberry and mulberry are common wild fruits along the fields and roadsides in rural areas, which are delicious in taste. However, manual weeding is rarely done in rural areas now, and pesticides are basically used to weed. Wild fruits along the fields are at risk of being stained with pesticides.
What is paraquat?
Paraquat is a fast herbicide, which can be quickly absorbed by green tissues of plants, causing them to wither. Leaves begin to change color several hours after being applied, but it has no effect on non-green tissues.
Most people may be unfamiliar with it, but paraquat is a commonly used herbicide in township areas, agriculture, animal husbandry and garden fields due to its powerful weed control effect.
In the emergency room, there is a saying that paraquat can only be drunk if you really want to die. This playful joke is bought with life, blood and tears.
Data from the Kidney Disease Center of the First Hospital of Zhejiang Medical College: From June 2010 to September 2014, 149 people (about 37 people per year) were admitted to hospital due to paraquat poisoning, with a mortality rate of 46.98%, and the mortality rate was significantly positively correlated with dose. (Data provided by Chen Zhimin)
Paraquat is a veritable [ghost killer]. In emergency rooms and online social media, I have seen patients who are angry at trivial matters and want to frighten their families, saying [I only took a sip].
Little imagine, paraquat has fierce toxicity to human body and is extremely harmful. It has been banned or strictly restricted by more than 20 countries. On July 10, 2015, China also passed a bill at the 17th plenary meeting of the 8th National Pesticide Registration Review Committee to revise the toxicity level of paraquat to the highest level of highly toxic.
Paraquat, as a pesticide, only kills green tissues and degrades quickly in soil. However, once it comes into contact with human body, it can quickly cause tissue damage at the contact site and can be absorbed into blood by human body through respiratory tract, skin and digestive tract, causing systemic organ damage, especially lung.
- In severely poisoned patients, patients may suffer from rapid failure of systemic multiple organ functions and die of death. What is even more frightening is that paraquat can cause progressive pulmonary fibrosis and progressive respiratory failure in some patients who look like [mild diseases] when seeking medical treatment. Once paraquat occurs, the mortality rate is extremely high.
According to domestic research reports, the overall mortality rate of paraquat poisoning is 85% ~ 95%, and the mortality rate of taking more than 30 mL (about 2 tablespoons) of 20% paraquat is 100%.
What are the manifestations after exposure to paraquat?
- After exposure to paraquat, patients can have dermatitis, burns, ulcers, hemorrhage and other local stimulation reactions at the contact site. Oral administration can cause digestive tract mucosal ulceration, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, even hematemesis, hematochezia, gastric perforation, liver function damage and other digestive tract involvement manifestations. The most serious is lung disease. Poisoned people will feel chest tightness and cough. Once pulmonary fibrosis occurs, the patient’s dyspnea will become more and more serious until he dies. Paraquat can pass through the kidney and be excreted from urine. Patients can have irritating symptoms such as frequent urination, urgency of urination, pain of urination and abnormal urine routine.
First Aid and Treatment-Emphasis on Prevention
There is no antidote to paraquat, so far no drug has been confirmed to have a clear therapeutic effect on paraquat poisoning.
In the event of paraquat poisoning, the first and most important thing is to remove the source, reduce the further intake of more poisons, and reduce the direct contact damage of poisons to human body.
- As soon as possible to send a doctor, gastric lavage, adsorption, catharsis and other measures, as far as possible to neutralize and expel the toxic substances remaining in the digestive tract. As paraquat is basically mostly distributed in organs and tissues, blood purification therapy refers to the introduction of human blood out of the body after purification by machines and then infusion back into the human body, which may only improve some patients with mild diseases.
The treatment of paraquat is more important in prevention:
- Replacing paraquat with other pesticides; Do not eat wild fruits on the roadside without clear hygiene and safety. Do not put paraquat in other bottles without warning signs to prevent eating by mistake. Take protective measures when using paraquat.
Stop paraquat aqua
[Paraquat] is terrible, what is more terrible is that we know nothing about it, and countless fresh and even young lives are ruined in its hands in a hurry.
The Ministry of Agriculture has issued a document: starting from July 1, 2014, the registration, production license and production of paraquat aqua will be revoked, and the sale and use of paraquat aqua in China will be stopped on July 1, 2016. However, the existing inventory, the use of other dosage forms and even the existence of some illegal vendors still need to arouse people’s vigilance.
Doctor Clove reminded: I am really infatuated with the delicious taste of wild fruits. Please put it away, wash it and eat it again.