April 1976

Accidental Digitoxin Poisoning

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children, Indiana University Medical Center, Indianapolis. Dr Iacuone is now a Fellow in Hematology-Oncology, Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Cincinnati.

Am J Dis Child. 1976;130(4):425-427. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1976.02120050083016

• A healthy 14½-month-old child ingested 1.5 mg of digitoxin by accident. Digitoxin was wrongly identified as digoxin, the initial electrocardiogram was misinterpreted, and the vomiting was underestimated as an important symptom of toxicity. Symptoms persisted and the patient was hospitalized. Serial digitoxin levels were obtained and correlated with ECG and clinical course. It appears that serial digitoxin levels can be a useful adjunct in diagnosis, assessment of severity, and indication of recovery from digitoxin poisoning. In each patient, it is imperative that ECG, pharmacologic, and clinical indicators of digitalis toxicity be accurately identified for proper assessment of severity and appropriate management.

(Am J Dis Child 130:425-427, 1976)