What is iron toxicity?

Updated: Jun 06, 2020
  • Author: Clifford S Spanierman, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Miller, MD  more...
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Answer

Iron overdose has been one of the leading causes of poisoning deaths in children younger than 6 years. Iron is used in pediatric or prenatal vitamin and mineral supplements and for treatment of anemia. Iron tablets are particularly tempting to young children because they look like candy. Iron overdose in adults is typically a suicide attempt. [14]

Iron overload may develop chronically as well, especially in patients requiring multiple transfusions of red blood cells. This condition develops in patients with sickle cell disease, thalassemia, and hematologic malignancies such as myelodysplastic syndromes. [1, 16, 17]

For full discussion of iron toxicity in children, see Pediatric Iron Toxicity.


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