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Hair Dye- An Emerging Suicidal Agent: Our Experience

Hair dye poisoning has been emerging as one of the important causes of intentional deliberate self harm. To study the epidemiology of patients who consumed Super Vasmol (a commonly used commercial hair dye), profile of patients referred to the ENT department, to find the effectiveness of supportive therapy and to compare between the tracheostomy and the non tracheostomy group, a retrospective study was conducted in patients who consumed Super Vasmol admitted over a year (April 2009 – March 2010) in a teaching hospital in South India. Out of the 108 patients 38 (35.2%) were males and 70 (64.8%) were females. 42 (38.9%) were in 21-25 age group. Patients who developed cervico-facial oedema, throat pain, burning sensation in the throat, change of voice, no voice and dyspnoea with stridor were referred to the ENT Department. 74 (68.5%) patients needed an ENT opinion. Cervico-facial oedema was the main clinical manifestation in 74 patients. 33 of them underwent tracheostomy. The mortality in 108 patients was 22.2% and after tracheostomy 21.2%. Purpose of the study is to create public awareness about the lethal effects of the hair dye, because it is a major health problem and to educate the public and the medical professional about the need for aggressive and early treatment.

Author(s): Mary Nirmala S,Ganesh R