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Potassium permanganate ingestion as a suicide attempt

Sebnem Eren Cevik, Onur Yesil, Tuba Cimilli Ozturk, Ozlem Guneysel
  • Sebnem Eren Cevik
    Emergency Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, Beykoz State Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey |
  • Onur Yesil
    Emergency Physician, Emergency Medicine Clinic, Umraniye Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Tuba Cimilli Ozturk
    Emergency Physician, Emergency Medicine Clinic, Umraniye Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Ozlem Guneysel
    Emergency Physician, Emergency Medicine Clinic, Dr. Lutfi Kirdar Kartal Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey


Potassium permanganate is a highly corrosive, water-soluble oxidizing antiseptic. A 68- year-old female patient was admitted to our Emergency Department after ingestion of 3 tablets of 250 mg potassium permanganate as a suicide attempt. The physical exam revealed brown stained lesions in the oropharynx. Emergency endoscopy was performed by the gastroenterologist after the third hour of ingestion. Emergency endoscopy revealed multiple superficial (Grade I-II) lesions on the esophagus and cardia, which were considered secondary to the caustic substance. The mainstay in the treatment of potassium permanganate is supportive and the immediate priority is to secure the airway. Emergency endoscopy is an important tool used to evaluate the location and severity of injury to the esophagus, stomach and duodenum after caustic ingestion. Patients with signs and symptoms of intentional ingestion should undergo endoscopy within 12 to 24 h to define the extent of the disease.


emergency department, emergency endoscopy, potassium permanganate, suicide attempt.

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Submitted: 2012-01-01 14:35:45
Published: 2012-02-16 13:10:00
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