Hard as Iron: A Case of Delayed Presentation of Severe Iron Toxicity With Diagnostic and Treatment Dilemmas

ABSTRACT Cases of severe iron toxicity have become increasingly rare; most cases are intentional ingestions by late adolescents and adults who present within 12 hours of ingestion. We present a case of an adolescent girl with metabolic acidosis, hypoglycemia, obtundation, and liver and renal failure of undifferentiated etiology who was eventually discovered to have overdosed on ferrous sulfate tablets 4 days before arrival. The diagnosis was made because the patient had an elevated transferrin concentration in the setting of a minimally elevated serum iron concentration and faint radio-opacities on abdominal plain film imaging. This case presents many diagnostic challenges and treatment dilemmas and is a rare report of survival in delayed presentation of severe toxicity.

as reported in: Pediatr Emerg Care. 2021 May 1; 37(5): e269-e271