Severe potassium permanganate poisoning (more than 10 g of potassium permanganate) is invariably associated with massive systemic upset and death. Multiple organ damage has been recognized as an inevitable consequence of such an overdose, although pancreatitis has not been previously reported. Death due to cardiovascular collapse and profound hypotension is a common end point in those who reach hospital, but the pathogenesis is uncertain. We report a case of haemorrhagic pancreatitis following an overdose of potassium permanganate and suggest that this complication may be an unrecognized factor contributing to the extremely high mortality rate associated with this condition.
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