Which history is characteristic of cyanide toxicity?

Updated: May 30, 2020
  • Author: Inna Leybell, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Miller, MD  more...
  • Print

Key historical features for suspected hydrogen cyanide (HCN) casualties include the following [5, 4] :

  • Onset, severity, and time course of symptoms

  • Time, nature, and route of exposure

  • Presence of smoke; odors and colors of gas

  • Odor of bitter almonds (noted by approximately 40% of patients exposed to cyanide)

  • Effects on surroundings (eg, dead animals or other human casualties)

  • Evidence of exposure to other chemicals or co-ingestants

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!