Iron poisoning: a literature-based review of epidemiology, diagnosis, and management

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2011 Oct;27(10):978-85. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e3182302604.


Although seen less frequently than acetaminophen or salicylate poisoning, acute iron poisoning remains a dangerous threat, particularly to pediatric patients. Multiple factors-including legal and manufacturing practices-have changed the landscape of iron poisoning over the decades. Despite these changes, diagnosis and management of iron poisoning have minimally evolved, and the current evidence for iron poisoning is yet based principally on case series, expert consensus, animal studies, and adult volunteer studies. This review article describes in detail the epidemiology of acute iron poisoning as it relates to the pediatric patient, as well as the historical and current array of literature on diagnosis and management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical
  • Child
  • Deferoxamine / therapeutic use
  • Drug Packaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iron / administration & dosage
  • Iron / poisoning*
  • Magnesium Hydroxide / therapeutic use
  • Poisoning / epidemiology
  • Poisoning / physiopathology
  • Poisoning / therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Siderophores / therapeutic use
  • Therapeutic Irrigation


  • Siderophores
  • Iron
  • Deferoxamine
  • Magnesium Hydroxide