She Has The Blues: An Unusual Case of Copper Sulphate Intoxication

  • Aurore Moussiegt Service de Réanimation, Hôpital Delafontaine, Saint Denis, France
  • Luis Ferreira Service de Réanimation, Hôpital Delafontaine, Saint Denis, France
  • Jérome Aboab Service de Réanimation, Hôpital Delafontaine, Saint Denis, France
  • Daniel Silva Service de Réanimation, Hôpital Delafontaine, Saint Denis, France

Keywords

Copper sulphate, toxicology, methemoglobinaemia

Abstract

Background: Copper is an essential trace element of the human body. However, it is related to many diseases. Copper intoxication is not common in Western countries, but needs to be rapidly recognised because of its high lethality.
Case presentation: We report the case of a 40-year-old woman who presented to the emergency department after performing intrarectal administration of a blue powder sent from Cameroon by her family, in the belief that this would help her to get pregnant. Her evolution was complicated by multiorgan failure and the unusual circumstances. The diagnosis was suspected on the basis of the clinical presentation and the colour of the powder, and confirmed by blood dosage and toxicological analysis of the powder. She underwent symptomatic treatment, and the outcome was progressively favourable, apart from persistent chronic renal failure with dependence on dialysis.
Conclusion: Copper intoxications are rare but severe. Laboratory diagnosis of the condition is not an issue; the difficulty is suspecting it and quickly initiating chelation treatment associated with symptomatic treatments.

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  • Published: 2020-01-21

    Issue: LATEST ONLINE (view)

    Section: Articles

    How to cite:
    Moussiegt, A., Ferreira, L., Aboab, J., & Silva, D. (2020). She Has The Blues: An Unusual Case of Copper Sulphate Intoxication. European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine, 2. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.12890/2020_001394