Cyanide Toxicity Questions & Answers

Updated: Jan 02, 2018
  • Author: Inna Leybell, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Miller, MD  more...
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Questions & Answers

Overview

What is cyanide toxicity?

How is cyanide used as a chemical weapon?

What is the pathophysiology of cyanide toxicity?

What is the pathophysiology of cyanide chloride toxicity?

What are the most common etiologies of cyanide toxicity?

What is the role of smoke inhalation in the etiology of cyanide toxicity?

Which individuals are most likely to ingest cyanide as a means of suicide?

What is the role of industrial exposure in the etiology of cyanide toxicity?

What is the role of iatrogenic exposure in the etiology of cyanide toxicity?

Which foods and supplements may cause cyanide toxicity?

What is the incidence of cyanide toxicity in the US?

What is the prognosis of cyanide toxicity?

What is the mortality rate of cyanide toxicity?

What information about cyanide toxicity should patients be given?

Presentation

Which history is characteristic of cyanide toxicity?

Which factors affect the onset of symptoms of cyanide toxicity?

What are the symptoms of cyanide toxicity?

What are the symptoms of cyanide toxicity after exposure to high vapor concentrations?

What are the symptoms of cyanide toxicity after exposure to lower vapor concentrations or after ingestion or liquid exposure?

What the symptoms of cyanide toxicity from cyanogen chloride exposure?

Which physical findings are characteristic of cyanide toxicity?

What are the neurologic symptoms of cyanide toxicity?

Which dermatologic findings are characteristic of cyanide toxicity?

DDX

What is the significance of the presence of lactic acidosis in the diagnosis of cyanide toxicity?

Which conditions should be included in the differential diagnoses of cyanide toxicity?

Which agents have similar toxicity presentations to cyanide poisoning?

What are the differential diagnoses for Cyanide Toxicity?

Workup

What is included in the evaluation of cyanide toxicity?

What is the role of arterial and venous blood gases in the diagnosis of cyanide toxicity?

What is the role of blood lactate levels in the diagnosis of cyanide toxicity?

How are red blood cell cyanide concentrations assessed in the diagnosis of cyanide toxicity?

What is the role of carboxyhemoglobin levels or blood carbon monoxide concentrations in the diagnosis of cyanide toxicity?

What is the role of methemoglobin levels in the diagnosis of cyanide toxicity?

What is the role of electrocardiogram (ECG) in the diagnosis of cyanide toxicity?

What is the role of imaging studies in the diagnosis of cyanide toxicity?

When are fluorescein staining and slit-lamp exam indicated in the diagnosis of cyanide toxicity?

Treatment

What is the initial treatment for cyanide toxicity?

What are special concerns for pregnant patients with cyanide toxicity?

When is personal protective equipment indicated in the management of cyanide toxicity?

What is included in prehospital care for cyanide toxicity?

What is included in emergency department care (ED) care for cyanide toxicity?

What are antidotes for cyanide toxicity?

How effective is hydroxocobalamin in treating cyanide toxicity?

How effective are sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate in treating cyanide toxicity?

What is included in inpatient care for patients affected by cyanide toxicity?

When is transfer indicated for management of cyanide toxicity?

How is cyanide toxicity prevented?

Which specialist consultations are helpful in the management of cyanide toxicity?

Medications

Which medications are used in the treatment of cyanide toxicity?

Which medications in the drug class Alpha/Beta Adrenergic Agonists are used in the treatment of Cyanide Toxicity?

Which medications in the drug class Anticonvulsants, Other are used in the treatment of Cyanide Toxicity?

Which medications in the drug class Antidotes are used in the treatment of Cyanide Toxicity?