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July 22, 2019

Over 900 patients reach PIMS with corrosive poisoning

Islamabad

July 22, 2019

Islamabad : The Gastroenterology Department of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) has received well over 900 patients with the history of ingestion of corrosive substances in last one year that is four-and-a-half times more as compared to the number of patients reached PIMS with corrosive intake during the previous year.

From July 2017 to June 2018, the PIMS received a total of 210 patients with corrosive intake and health experts are of the opinion that the number of cases of corrosive intake has been on the rise alarmingly for the last few years.

Data collected by ‘The News’ on Sunday has revealed that of the total patients of corrosive intake, the PIMS gastroenterology department received over 700 female patients with corrosive poisoning in one year at its OPD and emergency department.

Studies reveal that ingestion of corrosive substances may cause severe to serious injuries of the upper gastrointestinal tract and the poisoning can even result in death. Acute corrosive intoxications pose a major problem in clinical toxicology since the most commonly affected population are the young with psychic disorders, suicidal intent and alcohol addiction.

It is important that oral intoxication with corrosive agents occurs by ingestion of acids including hydrochloric, acetic, sulfuric, lactic, oxalic, carbolic acid, alkalis including sodium and potassium, soaps, detergents and heavy metal salts (sublimate), formalin, iodine tincture and many other chemical substances.

Most of the patients reached PIMS with chest pain and difficulty in eating after corrosive intake, said Deputy Director at PIMS Dr. Waseem Ahmed Khawaja while talking to ‘The News’ on Sunday.

He added that most of the female patients who reached PIMS after corrosive poisoning were young and middle aged and they were in need of surgical procedures. Majority of the patients reached PIMS with the history of ingestion of corrosive substances were young adults and they reported at PIMS after narrowing of oesophagus, the muscular tube that connects throat (Pharynx) with the stomach.

The PIMS had to perform endoscopies in almost all cases to check lesions in oesophagus, food pipe and stomach and it was found that 90 per cent of all patients had multiple ulcers and all patients had narrowed oesophagus after four weeks of corrosive intake, said Dr. Khawaja.

Head of PIMS Gastroenterology Department at PIMS Dr. Mashood who had to perform hundreds of endoscopes said the patients of oesophageal varices stricture and corrosive intake need more than one endoscopes and a number of patients who reached PIMS after corrosive intake had to undergo endoscopies four to five time at different days.

Dr. Khawaja said the government should take strict action against the vendors selling corrosive materials over the counter and a proper policy should be framed to control the abuse of chemicals.

He added majority of patients reached PIMS with corrosive intake were from 15 years of age to 30 years of age and 75 per cent of the patients were females while 25 per cent males. Most of the patients had socioeconomic causes and were suffering from tension and depression, he said.

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