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How cyanide poisoning works?

Cyanide is a rare, but potentially deadly poison. It works by making the body unable to use life-sustaining oxygen. Cyanide compounds that can be poisonous include hydrogen cyanide gas, and the crystalline solids, potassium cyanide and sodium cyanide.

What is the mechanism of cyanide poisoning? Detection of cyanide poisoning can be difficult. The effects of cyanide ingestion are very similar to the effects of suffocation. The mechanism of toxicity occurs because cyanide stops the cells of the body from being able to use oxygen, which all cells need to survive.

Why does cyanide cause hypoxia? Cyanide poisoning is a form of histotoxic hypoxia because the cells of an organism are unable to create ATP, primarily through the inhibition of the mitochondrial enzyme cytochrome c oxidase.

What are antidotes for cyanide toxicity? Administer a cyanide antidote if the diagnosis of cyanide toxicity is strongly suspected, without waiting for laboratory confirmation. Available antidotes are hydroxocobalamin (Cyanokit) and sodium thiosulfate and sodium nitrite (Nithiodote). Both are given intravenously.

What is cyanide level? Blood levels of cyanide can be measured but take time. Levels of 0.5–1 mg/L are mild, 1–2 mg/L are moderate, 2–3 mg/L are severe, and greater than 3 mg/L generally result in death. If exposure is suspected, the person should be removed from the source of exposure and decontaminated.