Organ procurement and successful transplantation after malathion Poisoning

William Dribben, William H. Dribben, Mark A. Kirk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: One of the major limitations to organ procurement and donation is the lack of suitable donors. As the demand for suitable organs exceeds the supply, identification of potential donors continues to evolve. Due to perceived risks of transmittable toxins and insufficient understanding of toxicological fate, poisoned patients are often overlooked as organ donors. Case Report: A 17-year-old white male was found by his mother having a seizure in bed. A strong odor of pesticides was noted and an empty container of malathion was found. He was transported to an outlying hospital and underwent prolonged cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The patient exhibited symptoms consistent with cholinergic poisoning and received a total of 12 mg of atropine and a pralidoxime bolus of 1 g followed by an infusion at 500 mg/h. Initial plasma cholinesterase was 1433 IU/L (normal 7500-14,600). The patient developed aspiration pneumonia and remained comatose. No further treatment for cholinergic toxicity was needed 5 days after admission and a cerebral blood flow scan confirmed brain death. After review of the available literature on the disposition and fate of malathion in human tissues, the patient's liver and kidneys were harvested for transplantation. The recipients were all doing well 1 year post-transplantation. Conclusions: This case of successful transplantation after organo-phosphate exposure underscores the fact that poisoned patients should not be overlooked as transplant candidates. Decisions should be based on the clinical presentation and knowledge of the properties of the toxin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-636
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Toxicology - Clinical Toxicology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001


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