According to statistics, the annual figures of pesticide poisoning deaths, which is mostly due to suicide, runs into hundreds and thousands. This is more common among people from rural areas who have access to such substances.
In a study of 78 patients in Sri Lanka, researchers discovered that 10 people among them suffered extreme weakness in their neck and limb muscles after which five of the ten succumbed to respiratory failure.
To understand how this happens, the researchers subjected patients to electric shocks employing a technique called as "repetitive nerve stimulation". Specific changes were evident in the nerve transmissions of 10 patients; five of them went to suffer respiratory failure.
"We believe that RNS is a predictor of respiratory failure and these findings would be useful once they are validated in future prospective studies. Those who are at risk of respiratory failure can be diagnosed early and directed to places where more facilities are available to manage them," researchers said.