In May 2000, a coffee vending machine was deliberately
contaminated with arsenic and many individuals became acutely ill.
After considerable but rapid consultation, the toxicology team
recommended that the thirty-three patients be treated with oral dmps (100mg 3x
per day with food). All patients
were given medical examinations before beginning treatment.
After one week of treatment, arsenic levels dropped significantly.
However, serious adverse effects became apparent.
Early adverse effects were mild rashes, treated with an antihistamine.
Shortly thereafter one patient was admitted to the hospital with
generalized erythematous skin rash, edema, fever, fatigue, and ulcerations of
the mouth, vagina and anus. Treatment
for the remaining patients was immediately halted.
During the following two weeks eight patients developed erythema
multiform. Four patients required
hospitalization. Two were
conclusively diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.
One developed bullous lesion on the upper extremities.
The other had limited rash lesions but severe ulcerations of all mucous
In all, eight of the thirty-three patients (24%) required medical attention
due to the adverse effects of the dmps. Four
patients required hospitalization (12%), with two suffering from Stevens-Johnson
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