This is poisoning from an overdose of merbromin, a germ-killing (antiseptic) liquid.
Merbromin is found in some antiseptics. It is commonly called mercurochrome.
Bladder and kidneys
- Decreased urine output (may stop completely)
- Breathing difficulty (severe)
Eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and throat
- Swelling in the throat (can be severe and completely close the throat)
- Metallic taste
- Excessive saliva
- Mouth sores
- Stomach pain (severe)
- Diarrhea (bloody)
- Speech difficulties
- Memory problems
- Problems with balance and coordination
Heart and blood
Determine the following:
- Patient's age, weight, and condition
- Name of product (as well as the ingredients and strength, if known)
- Time it was swallowed
- Amount swallowed
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the U.S. use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.
The health care provider will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure.
The patient may receive:
- Medicines to treat symptoms
- Activated charcoal
- A nasogastric (NG) tube thru the nose into the stomach to empty the stomach (gastric lavage)
- Medicine to reverse the effect of the poison
If an antidote (medicine to reverse the poison) is given within 1 week, recovery is usually likely. If the poisoning has occurred over a long period of time, some mental deterioration may be permanent.
Reviewed By: Eric Perez, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, St. Luke's-RooseveltHospital Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed HealthcareNetwork.