ACUTE poisoning from the ingestion of iron salts is common in children; there are more than 2,000 cases annually, with a mortality in untreated patients as high as 45%.1 However, acute intoxication is rarely seen in adults. There are only two previously reported cases; in both, the ingestion proved fatal.1,2 In the present case, an overdose of ferrous sulfate, taken in an apparent suicidal gesture, resulted in a moderately severe toxic reaction to iron. The illness progressed through classic stages similar to those noted in children. Of particular interest was a hitherto-unreported electrocardiographic abnormality: deep inversions of precordial T waves. These changes probably represent one of the many metabolic alterations resulting from iron poisoning.
Report of a Case
A 24-year-old black woman was admitted to Montefiore Hospital, University of Pittsburgh Health Center, following an apparent suicide attempt in which she ingested a large dose of ferrous sulfate. She
Wallack MK, Winkelstein A. Acute Iron Intoxication in an Adult. JAMA. 1974;229(10):1333–1334. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230480049030