Prussic acid poisoning: signs, help, antidote
Prussic acid: the symptoms and treatment of poisoning
It is a mistake to assume that the derivatives of hydrocyanic acid, the cyanides, can be found only in research laboratories. They are part of many funds for the destruction of rats and mice, small amounts of toxic substances contained in the fruit seeds. Prussic acid poisoning happens when careless handling of toxic chemicals, and excessive consumption of delicious and sweet kernels with the aroma of almonds.
Why prussic acid is deadly to humans
It was the smell of almonds is the hallmark of hydrocyanic acid and its salts, decaying rapidly with increasing temperature. Hydrogen cyanide (HCN) is a weak acid, has a high volatility, solvents are absorbed by any water or alcohol-based.
Do not store insecticides containing hydrocyanic acid, together with caustic alkalis. When mixing these substances interact with each other, forming a small explosion.
Once inside the bloodstream, the acid molecules interact with the trivalent iron. This chemical element plays an important role, with the help of all tissues oxygen permeates. Hydrogen cyanide poisoning binds with iron, causing oxygen starvation of cells. Active oxygen also enters the blood, but its absorption does not occur, it begins to block the respiratory chain.
In the arteries there is an over-concentration of molecular oxygen, and after a short time, it accumulates in the veins. This effect is incompatible with the normal functioning of all systems:
- Nervous system. Oxygen starvation leads to the destruction of cells in the brain and spinal cord that govern all processes of human life.
- Respiratory system. Tissue hypoxia leads at first to increased respiration, and after the development of intoxication breaths become shallow, rare, and cease altogether.
- Cardio-vascular system. Dangerous concentration of hydrogen cyanide leads to a decrease in the ability of nerve cells to absorb oxygen. In humans, there is arterial hypotension, spasms of the coronary vessels. The next pathological step is cardiovascular failure and death.
Under the influence of hydrogen cyanide completely changes the biochemical composition of blood. The autopsy of the dead from intoxication of patients, pathologists find the same color of blood in arteries and veins is bright red. This speaks to the increased content of undigested tissue by molecular oxygen and reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide.
How is intoxication with hydrocyanic acid
Hydrogen cyanide, and arsenic, refers to the strongest poisons – for a person weighing 90 kg only 0.05 g toxic substances to death. And at a lower dose, there are signs of cyanide poisoning. How dangerous a chemical can get inside the body?
- Through the skin and (or) mucous membranes. If there are scratches or other minor damage, then the poison through them goes directly into the bloodstream. Hydrocyanic acid evaporates easily into the air. By increasing its concentration in the premises for more than 0,011%, it is able to penetrate the human body through the pores on the skin.
- Extremely hazardous fumes of hydrogen cyanide – at the first breath can form a lethal concentration of poison.
- In the stomach the toxic stuff can get by negligence or failure to comply with storage rules. For example, after the use of insecticides for the destruction of rodents, people forget to wash your hands.
Hydrocyanic acid contains tobacco smoke. Its toxic properties have a negative impact on the health of the smoker and his family members, because hydrogen cyanide can easily penetrate through the damaged skin, causing poisoning.
The higher the ambient temperature, the faster the poison will act. At low readings of the mercury column is a small concentration of acid may not be reflected on human health. Hydrogen cyanide transformirovalsya in an inactive connection, and then excreted in the urine.
Where it is possible to get poisoned with hydrocyanic acid
The likelihood of toxicity of cyanide is quite high due to its physico-chemical properties. It evaporates easily, it does not have color, and sometimes smell. The scent of almond does not belong to the poison, and the substance that is used to obtain the acid. In modern industry rarely used this substance, in the final stage turns hydrogen cyanide is odorless. In the human body, the poison can get into the following cases:
- In the processing areas with insecticides to kill rats and mice.
- Processing plants herbicides against harmful insects. Also hydrocyanic acid is found in some stimulants of growth and rooting.
- On the trade when you use certain technologies of extraction of precious metals from ore.
- In the manufacture of plastic, rubber rubber, organic glass.
- In the process of applying artificial gilding on various decorative items.
- While getting artificial flavors.
Doctors often diagnose hydrogen cyanide poisoning in small children who enjoyed the tart kernels of the seeds of fruit trees:
If nucleoli eaten at least 5 pieces, then with the baby nothing will happen. When used in a larger number concentration of prussic acid can reach dangerous values. Appear dangerous symptoms of cyanide poisoning in humans.
Some Housewives are afraid to cook marmalades with nucleoli, giving the jam a particularly refined aroma. Experts have long proved that by boiling, hydrocyanic acid is decomposed into non-hazardous for human connection.
Freezers are very popular: they freeze a huge amount of fruit and vegetables. But cherry, apricot and peach you want to use in the first year. Further storage is very dangerous hydrocyanic acid begins to be released from the nuclei to penetrate into the fruit pulp.
Symptoms during intoxication hydrogen cyanide
If the inside of the body got a lethal dose of hydrocyanic acid, then the person dies within five minutes. If a strong poisoning with toxic compound the victim has convulsions of the upper and lower extremities, involuntary defecation and urination. The pupils dilate, growing signs of choking and the person loses consciousness. Typical symptoms include:
- Crimson colouring of the face.
- Bright pink mucous membranes.
This effect is due to the inability of cells to absorb molecular oxygen and is maintained even after death.
The number of symptoms and their manifestations depend on the way of getting the poison inside the human body. The most severe signs of poisoning appear when the inhalation of toxic fumes with a high concentration.
For the initial stage of intoxication characteristic of the emergence of such symptoms:
- unpleasant taste in the mouth, excess salivation, feeling of presence of foreign object in larynx;
- painful nausea, heartburn, cutting pain spasms in the stomach;
- sweating, perspiration, chills.
These signs of poisoning observed in man, which inadvertently swallowed prussic acid, and she lingered awhile on the inside of the stomach. When the concentration of hydrogen cyanide in the victim’s condition is getting worse:
- The feeling of lack of air, shortness of breath.
- Pain in the heart.
- A sharp decrease in pressure with increased heart rate.
- The increase in body temperature.
- Weakness, lethargy, drowsiness.
- A painful headache.
- Dizziness, loss of orientation in space.
If not given first aid in case of poisoning with prussic acid and not carried out drug therapy, possible death. The more hydrogen cyanide got into the body of the person, the faster death occurs.
First aid for poisoning and medical treatment
After a phone call to the ambulance station and call teams should:
- to ensure the flow of fresh air. If the poisoning occurred in the evaporation of prussic acid, it is necessary to leave the premises and remove patient;
- to remove a person’s clothes as a toxic compound can accumulate on the fibers of the fabric;
- you will need to induce vomiting, if person is conscious. Potassium permanganate diluted in water to obtain a solution saturated pink and give to drink the victim;
- while maintaining consciousness of the person can be given drugs that will bind hydrogen cyanide, failed to cross into the bloodstream: smectite or activated carbon.
If the incident occurred in manufacturing, where hydrocyanic acid is used in the technological process, the service kit provided with the antidote. You need to immediately introduce a drug to the victim. The most commonly used antidote of prussic acid is sodium thiosulfate, which is used intravenously. Sometimes used to treat poisoning, use sodium nitrite, the binding molecules of the poison.
So the victim remained conscious, and hydrogen cyanide did not spread throughout the body, you need to bring to the nose of a person a cotton wool soaked in amyl nitrate. The procedure is carried out every 15 minutes until a doctor arrives.
The ambulance crew will make the necessary resuscitation and hospitalitynet the victim. In the hospital, the poison is removed from the body, and further treatment of poisoning is directed at eliminating symptoms.
To avoid dangerous intoxication with hydrocyanic acid, it is necessary not to neglect safety precautions when using poisons. After working with hydrogen cyanide should be carefully wash hands and change clothes. But small children should be informed about the possibility of poisoning by apricot and cherry kernels.