Dr. Avnish Jolly, Chandigarh:Every year, hundreds of thousands of people globally die from ingesting pesticides, mostly due to suicide. Most are rural folk who can lay their hands easily on these substances. People who die from pesticide poisoning are more likely to suffer changes in nerve responses and severe weakness in their neck and limb muscles in the days before they succumb, experts have found.
Respiratory failure is the major cause of death after poisoning by organophosphates, a compound used in many insecticides and herbicides.
In a study of 78 patients in Sri Lanka, researchers found that 10 suffered severe weakness in their neck and limb muscles and five of this eventually developed respiratory failure. Specific changes were seen in nerve transmissions in the 10 patients and five of them went on to develop respiratory failure.
The findings are important because they can help improve the management of patients suffering from pesticide poisoning, the experts wrote in an article published in PLoS Medicine