An uncommon, severe form of hypernatremia called salt toxicity can occur after ingestion of a massive single dose of table salt over minutes to hours. Salt toxicity requires immediate medical attention due to its high mortality and potential neurological injury that can be permanent. What are the three most common causes of salt toxicity?
The three most frequent causes of salt toxicity are saltwater emetics, intentional administration of large quantities of salt to a child by a caregiver as a form of punishment/abuse, and suicide attempts.
Metheny NA, Krieger MM. Salt toxicity: a systematic review and case reports. Journal of Emergency Nursing. 2020;46(4):428-439. Doi: 10.1016/j.jen.2020.02.011.
Submitted by: Justin Yu, PharmD Candidate, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, on behalf of Pediatric Section