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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 136-140

Acute oleander poisoning: A study of clinical profile from a tertiary care center in South India

1 Department of General Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Pharmacy, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ramya Iyadurai
Department of Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 004, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_632_19

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Introduction: Yellow oleander (Thevetia peruviana), which belongs to the Apocyanaceae family, is a common shrub seen throughout the tropics. All parts of the plant contain high concentrations of cardiac glycosides which are toxic to cardiac muscle and the autonomic nervous system. Here, we describe the clinical profile of patients with oleander poisoning and their outcomes. Methods and Materials: This retrospective study was conducted over a period of 12 months (March 2016 to February 2017). The data was extracted from the inpatient electronic medical records. Adult patients with a diagnosis of acute yellow oleander poisoning were included in the study. Descriptive statistics were obtained for all variables in the study and appropriate statistical tests were employed to ascertain their significance. Results: The study comprised 30 patients aged 30.77 ± 12.31 (mean ± SD) who presented at 12.29 ± 8.48 hours after consumption of yellow oleander. Vomiting (80%) was the most common presenting symptom. Metabolic abnormalities at presentation included hyperchloremia in 22 patients and metabolic acidosis (bicarbonate <24 mmol/L) in 29 patients. Fifteen (50%) patients had abnormal ECG, of which second-degree AV block was the commonest ECG abnormality seen in 4 (13.3%). Fifteen (50%) patients had transvenous temporary pacemaker insertion (TPI). Having a TPI significantly prolonged the duration of hospital stay (OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.06–3.21, P 0.03). The mortality in the cohort was 2 (6.7%). Conclusion: In patients with yellow oleander poisoning, dyselectrolytemia with ECG abnormalities was common. TPI prolonged the duration of hospital stay. Further studies are required to know the indication for and to ascertain the effect of temporary pacing on survival.

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