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Cyanide death symptoms and oxygen therapy

Cyanide death symptoms and oxygen therapy

Cyanide death symptoms and oxygen therapy

The county coroner is working on a deceased individual who was the victim of cyanide poisoning. Cyanide blocks the transfer of electrons to oxygen along the electron transport chain. Knowing this, explain why cyanide causes sudden death. Also explain whether cyanide poisoning could be treated by giving a patient supplemental oxygen, and justify your answer.

Respond to a classmate’s post by explaining why their explanation is sufficient or not and building on their response where possible.


Classmate post:

Cyanide is a naturally occurring chemical found in many plants. It is highly poisonous and lethal which is why it is used in conventional warfare. Cyanide refers to any chemical containing Carbon-Nitrogen (CN) bond. Many substances contain cyanide but not all of them are deadly poisons.

Cyanide ion binds to the Iron atom in cytochrome C Oxidase in the mitochondria of the cells, acting as an irreversible enzyme inhibitor, preventing cytochrome C oxidase from doing its job, which is transporting electrons to oxygen in the electron transport chain of the aerobic cellular respiration. Without the ability to use oxygen, cellular respiration is inhibited and mitochondrial can not produce the energy carrier ATP. NADH and FADH2  are accumulated. Tissues that require ATP form of energy such as the heart muscle cells and nerve cells quickly spend all their energy and start to die. A large number of cell deaths will result in mortality. I believe administering a high dose of oxygen on time can serve as part of the treatment and remedy.

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