Photographic fixative poisoning
This poisoning is from swallowing photographic fixative.
- Sodium thiosulfate
- Sodium sulfite/bisulfite
- Boric acid
Photographic fixative can also break down (decompose) to form sulfur dioxide gas.
These chemicals are found in products used to develop photographs.
- Difficulty breathing (from inhalation or allergic reaction)
- Eyes, ears, nose, and throat
- Burning pain in the throat
- Blurred vision
- Burns to the eye
- Heart and blood vessels
- Low blood pressure
- Nervous system
Determine the following information:
- The patient's age, weight, and condition
- Name of product (as well as the ingredients and strength, if known)
- The time it was swallowed
- The 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
- Fluids by IV
- Activated charcoal
- A nasogastric (NG) tube thru the nose into the stomach to empty the stomach (gastric lavage)
- Medicines to treat an allergic reaction (diphenhydramine, epinephrine, or prednisone)
- Endoscopy -- the placement of a camera down the throat to see the extent of burns to the esophagus and the stomach
How well the patient does depends on how much of the poison was swallowed and how quickly the patient received medical help. Swallowing these products can cause severe effects on many parts of the body. The faster treatment is received, the greater the chance of recovery.
Reviewed By: Eric Perez, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, St. Luke's-RooseveltHospital Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed HealthcareNetwork.