Anticoagulant rodenticides are poisons used to kill rats. Rodenticide means rodent killer. An anticoagulant is a blood thinner.
Anticoagulant rodenticide poisoning occurs when someone swallows a product containing these chemicals.
This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional.
Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:
Person's age, weight, and condition
The name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
Time it was swallowed
How much was swallowed
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.
The health care provider will measure and monitor the person's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Blood and urine tests will be done. The person may receive:
Airway and breathing support, including oxygen. In extreme cases, a tube may be passed through the mouth into the lungs to prevent the person from breathing in blood.
Blood transfusion, including clotting factors (which help your blood clot) and red blood cells
EKG (electrocardiogram, or heart tracing)
Endoscopy -- a camera down the throat to see the esophagus and stomach
Fluids through a vein (IV)
Medicines to treat symptoms
Medicine (activated charcoal) to absorb any remaining poison and laxatives to move it quickly through the body
Medicine (antidote) such as vitamin K to reverse the effect of the poison
Death may occur as late as 2 weeks after the poisoning as a result of bleeding. However, getting the right treatment usually prevents serious complications. If blood loss has damaged the heart or other vital organs, recovery may take longer and the person may not fully recover.
Janz TG, Hamilton GC, Eckstein M, Henderson SO. Disorders of hemostasis. In: Marx J, ed. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2013:chap 122.
Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.