Family exposure to a toxin - Essay Example

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Mr. Brett is 45 years old and his wife Christine is 41 years old. They have an eight year old daughter Terry. All the family members are healthy except for Christine who has diabetes. The family was exposed to a toxin called parathion…
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Family exposure to a toxin
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Family exposure to a toxin Family exposure to a toxin The Brett’s family has three members. Mr. Brett is 45 years old and his wife Christine is 41 years old. They have an eight year old daughter Terry. All the family members are healthy except for Christine who has diabetes. The family was exposed to a toxin called parathion after eating vegetables from their garden. The family had sprayed a pesticide that contained parathion. Parthion is considered a very toxic chemical. Even though all the family members were exposed to the same toxin, they reacted differently. The family members’ susceptibility varied depending of their age, gender, and nutrition status. Consequently, they had to be given medications differently.
The daughter was the first to show the signs of toxicity by vomiting. She also started complaining about headache, rashes on her skin and trouble in breathing. The daughter was the first to show the signs because of her age. Studies show that children and elderly are more susceptible to toxins compared to other people (Kacew & Lee, 2013). The situation is attributed to their consumption of many calories and poor eating habits compared to adults. The factors increase their exposure to chemicals. In addition, they are more vulnerable to toxins because of their lower immunity systems. Apart from age and nutrition, the daughter was more vulnerable because of her gender. Studies show that women absorb chemicals differently. In case a man and a woman take the same amount to toxin, a woman is more likely to have higher concentration of toxins in their blood. Enzymes that metabolize toxins in females are less active. As a result, a larger amount of ingested toxins enter the blood system (National Institute of Health, 2013).
The second person to start showing the symptoms was Christine. She showed the same signs as her daughter. However, unlike her daughter, she fainted. She started showing the signs after her daughter because of her age. It is noteworthy that a person of her age has a stronger immunity system compared to children (Kacew & Lee, 2013). She was more vulnerable than her husband because of their gender differences. As explained earlier, females are more susceptible to toxins that males. In addition, the toxin was stronger on her because of her health condition. Her immune system is weaker compared to her husband because she is diabetic (National Institute of Health, 2013). It explains why she fainted. The symptoms could have been worse if she had a poor nutritional habit like her daughter. She avoids eating fast foods and she is a vegetarian.
The last person to show the symptoms of the toxins was Mr. Brett though his symptoms were not as serious as those of his wife and daughter. He only felt nausea and headache. Mr. Brett is healthy because he eats a balanced diet. Consequently, he was less vulnerable to the toxins. In addition, his age and gender made him less vulnerable. Men’s enzymes that metabolized chemicals are more active. As a result, the concentration of toxins in his blood was lower compared to his wife and daughter (National Institute of Health, 2013).
The members had injected the toxin, meaning that they could not be induced with emesis. The patients knew that they were affected by parathion poisoning and were given an atropine. Mr. Brett and his daughter’s medication were administered intravenously. The daughter was given a dose of 0.01 mg/kg while his father was given a dose of 2.0 mg. The daughter was also provided with oxygen artificially since she had breathing problems. The wife’s medication was administered through the endotracheal tube after every 15 minutes (ATSDR, 2014).
ASTDR. (2014). Medical Management guidelines for parathion. Toxic Substance Portal. Retrieved from
Kacew, S., & Lee, B. M. (2013). Lu’s basic toxicology: Fundamentals, target organs, and risk assessment (6th Ed.). New York, NY: Informa Healthcare.
National Institute of Health. (2013). Individual responses can be different. Retrieved from: Read More
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