The port of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, is the world's largest container port. In 2006, one of these containers caused a chemical incident. Methylbromide is used in some countries as a pesticide for the fumigation of maritime containers. Because of an insufficiently performed detoxification, this insecticide intoxicated several employees and some of the ambulance crew and Mobile Medical Team (MMT). The victims displayed symptoms of sore throat, irritated eyes, and hypersalivation. One of the victims suffered from multiple epileptic seizures. Two victims were admitted to the intensive care unit for respiratory support. Three other employees showed milder symptoms and received supportive care but were not admitted to the hospital. This complicated case shows that the safety of the ambulance crew and MMT must be guaranteed. It also demonstrates that healthcare providers cannot always oversee the accident scene and that there are some pitfalls that are almost impossible to prevent.

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Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Breeman, W. (2009). Methylbromide intoxication: A Clinical Case Study. Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal, 31(2), 153–160. doi:10.1097/TME.0b013e31819dca1b