Is it possible to drink potassium permanganate in case of poisoning?
In the manuals for ambulance services of the 50-80s of the 20th century, one can meet the prescription "to take a pale pink solution of potassium permanganate when poisoned with food or chemicals."
Let's see what is potassium permanganate, why make a "pale pink solution," and why and why it is drunk.
What is potassium permanganate
Manganese, it's also 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 effect of potassium permanganate is antiseptic. It happens because of the ability to distinguish "aggressive", active oxygen when in contact with organic substances (for example, human skin proteins). There are a few units of compounds, which at room temperature also readily enter into chemical reactions, like manganese.
The use in poisoning, therefore, is based on the property of oxidizing many organic and inorganic compounds. In other words, potassium permanganate is capable of:
- translate into a safe, inactive form many chemicals, for example, alcohol and its surrogates;
- To exert a destructive effect on the cell wall of many microbes that are the cause of food poisoning.
Indications and contraindications for use
Potassium permanganate is currently in demand not only in medicine. Actively use it in agriculture for the disinfection of plant rhizomes, both in photography, and for creating fireworks. We will dwell on its medical application.
Conditionally distinguish a strong and weak solution of potassium permanganate. When poisoning is used just a weak solution, but strong used to treat wounds and prevent purulent complications in surgical and traumatological 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 sparing antiseptics is just potassium permanganate. When poisoning, it is recommended even to infants.
Manganese for poisoning
"Narodnye" methods of treating manganese poisoning are usually limited to laconic: "Rinse the stomach with a solution of potassium permanganate" or "drink a weak solution and induce vomiting".
In fact, potassium permanganate should sufficiently act inside the stomach. That is, immediately after taking a solution of potassium permanganate, it is not necessary to induce vomiting - it is easier then to arrange gastric lavage with ordinary boiled water.
How to dilute a solution of potassium permanganate in poisoning
Our grandmothers and mothers did not particularly think about how to dilute potassium permanganate in poisoning: they used a simple but risky method of dilution "by eye". In a jar of boiled water, a pinch of powder was first generously poured, then the resulting solution was diluted to the desired concentration (a solution of pale pink color). When diluting, it is extremely important to strain the solution through 8 layers of gauze to "catch" the crystals that have not dissolved, and prevent them from entering the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract and the development of chemical burns.
Since then, little has changed, and the method of "3-4 grains per 1 liter of water" still works.
Modern methodical literature tells us that a weak solution is approximately 0.01-0.1%, whereas a strong solution is already considered to be a 2-5% solution.
Precautions for the treatment of potassium permanganate
Potassium permanganate refers to very active, potent substances, so the following rules must be observed:
- During the preparation of the solution. Dissolve potassium permanganate in a clear glass or jar. As already mentioned, it is mandatory to carefully filter the finished solution for ingestion. In addition, 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, a violation of kidney 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 injection in large quantities is required, and this can not even be done in any hospital.
- When stored. The powder is stored in a tightly closed container, which excludes moisture and direct sunlight. Do not shake the bottle, it can lead to self-ignition or even an explosion! Not without reason, potassium permanganate is recognized as a precursor, that is, a precursor of a toxic substance, and since the mid-1990s of the 20th century. his free sale was banned.
Alternative to potassium permanganate
After the introduction of the ban on the sale of potassium permanganate, the question arose: what is to replace it? In hospitals and clinics for detoxification or for foodborne toxic infections, EDTA is used, also known as food supplement E-385. In the free sale of this drug is not found. Nevertheless, there is no special tragedy in the unavailability of EDTA to the modern buyer, because in most cases the reception of antimicrobial drugs gives a good result without any margancy!
If it is a question of food poisoning, then it is advisable to use, figuratively speaking, "sighting" the acting means. It is about intestinal antiseptics - drugs of a wide spectrum of action. In this case, there is a chance to act directly on the pathogen, and not waste time waiting for the development of antioxidant action of potassium permanganate.
For poisoning of light and medium degree, plant-based antiseptics, for example Rotokan, containing extracts of chamomile, calendula and yarrow, powerful natural bactericides (substances that kill bacteria) can help.
So can you drink potassium permanganate in case of poisoning? A single answer - yes, you can. A properly prepared solution of this substance is perhaps one of the few remedies that can be called harmless to humans or pets. It is enough to remember the rules for storing and dissolving powder of potassium permanganate and do not forget to apply them in practice.