Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 21, Issue 12, pp 1051–1053

Mercury oxycyanide and mercuric cyanide poisoning: Two cases


  • M. L. Benaissa
    • Réanimation ToxicologiqueHôpital Fernand Widal
  • P. Hantson
    • Unité Soins Intensifs, Clinique Saint LucUniversité Catholique de Louvain
  • C. Bismuth
    • Réanimation ToxicologiqueHôpital Fernand Widal
  • F. J. Baud
    • Réanimation ToxicologiqueHôpital Fernand Widal
Brief Report

DOI: 10.1007/BF01700673

Cite this article as:
Benaissa, M.L., Hantson, P., Bismuth, C. et al. Intensive Care Med (1995) 21: 1051. doi:10.1007/BF01700673



Although cyanide poisoning can be serious or fatal, it is typically described as mild when the cyanide is ingested in the form of either mercuric cyanide or mercury oxycyanide.


We studied two patients with acute cyanide poisoning following ingestion of one of these two agents in each case.


Both patients demonstrated features of life-threatening cyanide poisoning, including hemodynamic instability, severe lactic acidosis, and high blood cyanide concentration. One of the patients died, while the second demonstrated signs of mercury intoxication (acute renal failure and severe gastrointestinal symptoms), in addition to cyanide intoxication.


Ingestion of either mercuric cyanide or mercury oxycyanide can result in life-threatening cyanide intoxication.

Key words


Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995