Arsenic Poisoning

What is Arsenic Poisoning?

Arsenic is a naturally occurring element found throughout the environment, including in air, soil, and water. People can be exposed to arsenic through inhalation, ingestion, or contact with the skin. Arsenic is poisonous and can cause short-term and long-term health effects, even at very low levels of exposure.

Symptoms and Signs of Arsenic Poisoning

The symptoms and signs of arsenic poisoning include:

  • Gastrointestinal symptoms - nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea
  • Neurological symptoms - headaches, paralysis, and seizures
  • Dermatological effects - darkening and thickening of the skin, dandruff, and changes in the color of the nails
  • Hematological effects - anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and hemosiderosis
  • Respiratory symptoms - coughing, shortness of breath, and chest pain

Diagnosis of Arsenic Poisoning

The diagnosis of arsenic poisoning is typically based on the patient's medical history and physical examination. Blood and urine tests can be used to measure the levels of arsenic in the body. In some cases, imaging studies may be used to identify the presence of arsenic in the body and to determine the extent of any damage caused by arsenic poisoning.

Treatment for Arsenic Poisoning

Treatment for arsenic poisoning typically involves the use of chelating agents, which bind to the arsenic in the body and facilitate its excretion in the urine. Treatment may also include supportive therapy, such as fluids and nutrition, as well as medications to prevent or treat any associated complications. In severe cases of arsenic poisoning, hemodialysis or hemoperfusion may be necessary to remove the arsenic from the body.