Friday, October 15, 2004

Laboratory finding

Relevant laboratory findings include an early decreased arteriovenous different in the partial pressure of oxygen (Po2) with progressive lactic acidosis3.

Timely measurements of blood and urine concentrations for suspected intoxicants are useful in guiding clinical therapy, especially, when there is toxicity associated with the treatment agents. Unfortunately, analysis of cyanide in biological fluids is a difficult task for a variety of reasons. Also, measurements of blood cyanide concentrations are almost never available during the treatment phase. Blood concentrations of cyanide and associated clinical effects are shown in the table 3.

Documentation of blood cyanide levels is useful in confirming the clinical diagnosis and in subsequent follow up investigation. The red blood cells contain most of the cyanide in the blood, so an assay of the whole blood is necessary. Furthermore, cyanide levels tend to fall in stored samples because of the compound`s short half-life, and this process can only partially be limited by optimal storage conditions. Therefore, the time of sampling and the conditions of storage are very important factors to consider and record.

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