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July 1991

War Souvenir Poisoning

Am J Dis Child. 1991;145(7):723-724. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1991.02160070018011

Sir.—We recently had an alarming case of accidental atropine sulfate poisoning in a 4-year-old boy who was brought to the emergency department after injecting himself with 2 mg of atropine from a vacuum-loaded syringe. Why was such an article within reach of a young child? The boy's uncle had recently returned home from military service. He was stationed in Saudi Arabia and issued the syringe to use as an antidote in chemical warfare, ie, in case he suffered symptoms of cholinergic poisoning.

The child was observed for 24 hours after receiving two consecutive doses of activated charcoal.1 He suffered only minor symptoms of tachycardia, mydriasis, and drying of the mucous membranes, and was released the following day. We were relieved that he had no complications, since, according to reports, people have died of anticholinergic poisoning.2 In this case, the circumstances of the accident were more alarming

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