Is it possible to drink potassium permanganate in case of poisoning
In the manuals for ambulance services of the 50-80s of the twentieth century, you can find the prescription "to take a pale pink solution of potassium permanganate in case of poisoning with food or chemicals."
Let's see what is potassium permanganate, why they make a “pale pink solution,” and with what and why they drink it.
What is potassium permanganate?
Potassium permanganate, or potassium permanganate, or potassium permanganate, is a dark purple powder consisting of tiny crystals that, when dissolved in water, form a bright red solution.
Pharmacological action and medical use
The main action of potassium permanganate is antiseptic. This happens due to the ability to release “aggressive”, active oxygen when it comes into contact with organic substances (for example, human skin proteins). There are only a few units of compounds that, at room temperature, also readily enter into chemical reactions, like potassium permanganate.
Application in poisoning, therefore, is based on the property to oxidize many organic and inorganic compounds. In other words, potassium permanganate is capable of:
- transfer to a safe, inactive form many chemicals, for example, alcohol and its surrogates;
- to have a damaging effect on the cell wall of many microbes that cause food poisoning.
Indications and contraindications for use
Potassium permanganate is currently in demand not only in medicine. It is actively used in agriculture for the disinfection of plant rhizomes, and in photography, and for creating fireworks. We will focus on its medical use.
Conventionally, there is a strong and weak solution of potassium permanganate. In case of poisoning, a weak solution is used; well, a strong one is used to treat wounds and prevent suppurative complications in surgical and trauma practice (for example, in the treatment of burns).
Potassium permanganate is contraindicated in people with hypersensitivity, an increased risk of developing such phenomena as:
- skin irritation;
- allergic rhinitis;
- allergic bronchitis.
However, these are general recommendations for people prone to violent allergic reactions. In general, one of the most benign antiseptics is manganese. In case of poisoning, it is recommended even for infants.
Potassium permanganate in case of poisoning
"Folk" methods of treatment of potassium permanganate poisoning are usually limited to concise: "Wash the stomach with potassium permanganate solution" or "drink a weak solution and cause vomiting."
In fact, potassium permanganate should have a sufficient effect inside the stomach. That is, immediately after taking a solution of potassium permanganate, it is not necessary to induce vomiting - it is then easier to arrange washing the stomach with ordinary boiled water.
How to dilute the solution of potassium permanganate in case of poisoning
Our grandmothers and mothers didn’t particularly think about how to dissolve potassium permanganate in case of poisoning: they used a simple but risky method of dissolving “by eye”. First, a pinch of powder was generously poured into a jar of boiled water, then the resulting solution was diluted to the desired concentration (solution of a pale pink color). When diluting it is extremely important to filter the solution through 8 layers of gauze in order to “catch” the crystals that have not dissolved, and to prevent them from entering the gastrointestinal mucosa and the development of a chemical burn.
Since then, little has changed, and the “3-4 grains per 1 liter of water” method still works.
Modern methodical literature tells us that a weak solution is approximately 0.01–0.1%, while a 2–5% solution is already considered strong.
Precautions in the treatment of potassium permanganate
Potassium permanganate is a very active, potent substance, therefore it is necessary to observe the following rules:
- During the preparation of the solution. Potassium permanganate should be dissolved in a clear glass or jar. As already mentioned, it is imperative to thoroughly filter the prepared solution for ingestion. In addition, the accidental ingestion of a strong solution of potassium permanganate can cause the so-called methemoglobinemia - a condition fraught with a total lack of oxygen for all organs and tissues and, above all, impaired renal function. Of course, for potassium permanganate there is an antidote (a substance with the opposite effect) - methylene blue. But for the treatment of poisoning with potassium permanganate, its intravenous administration in large quantities is required, and this is not even possible in every hospital.
- When stored. The powder is stored in a tightly closed container, excluding the ingress of moisture or direct sunlight. In no case can not shake the bottle, it can lead to spontaneous ignition or even an explosion! It is not for nothing that potassium permanganate is recognized as a precursor, that is, a precursor of a toxic substance, and since the mid-1990s. his free sale was banned.
Alternative to potassium permanganate
After the introduction of a ban on the sale of potassium permanganate, the question arose: what is it to replace? In the conditions of hospitals and clinics for detoxification or during food toxicoinfections, EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid salt), also known as food additive E-385, is used. In the free sale of this drug can not be found. Nevertheless, there is no particular tragedy in the inaccessibility of EDTA to the modern buyer, because in most cases the intake of antimicrobial drugs gives a good result without any potassium permanganate!
If we are talking about food poisoning, then it is advisable to use, figuratively speaking, "sighting" existing means. We are talking about intestinal antiseptics - medicines of a wide spectrum of action. In this case, there is a chance to work directly on the pathogen, and not to waste time, waiting for the development of the antioxidant effect of potassium permanganate.
When poisoning is mild and moderate, plant-based antiseptics can help, for example, Rotocan, containing chamomile, calendula and yarrow extracts - powerful natural bactericides (substances that kill bacteria).
So is it possible to drink potassium permanganate in case of poisoning? The clear answer is yes. Properly prepared solution of this substance, perhaps one of the few means that can be called harmless to humans or pets. It is enough to remember the rules of storage and dissolution of potassium permanganate powder and do not forget to put them into practice.