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Papers And Originals

Paraquat Poisoning—Lung Transplantation

Br Med J 1968; 3 doi: (Published 28 September 1968) Cite this as: Br Med J 1968;3:759
  1. Henry Matthew,
  2. Andrew Logan,
  3. M. F. A. Woodruff,
  4. Brian Heard


    A 15-year-old boy ingested a mouthful of paraquat and developed severe respiratory distress. Treatment included the transplantation of one lung, but subsequently changes developed in the graft which are thought to have been due to paraquat, and the patient died two weeks after the operation

    The dangers of keeping poisonous substances in incorrectly labelled bottles has once again been demonstrated, while the pattern of paraquat poisoning, especially the development of proliferative alveolitis and terminal bronchiolitis, is confirmed.

    Immediate forced diuresis followed by haemodialysis is necessary to remove paraquat, thereby perhaps avoiding initiation of the changes in the lungs. The technical feasibility of human lung transplantation has again been demonstrated. It has also been shown that infection does not necessarily pose an insuperable problem, at any rate if, as in the case described, there was no preoperative pulmonary infection in either recipient or donor.