We report a paediatric case of survival following severe hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas intoxication. A 13-year-old boy was found submerged to the neck in a manure tank. He was hypothermic, unresponsive with bilateral mydriasis, and had poor oxygen saturation. After intubation, he was transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit of a tertiary care children's hospital. He developed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) requiring high frequency percussive ventilation. Cardiac evaluation was significant for myocardial infarction and left ventricular function impairment. He completely recovered from the respiratory and cardiac failure. Neurological examinations showed abnormal signals on MRI in the semi-oval center and in the frontal cortex. Follow-up detected partial impairment of axonal fibers of the right external popliteal sciatic nerve. Paediatric cases of survival after H2S intoxication have been rarely reported. Such exposures can evolve to severe ARDS and benefit from high frequency percussive ventilation. Hypothermia and other metabolic abnormalities are now better explained thanks to actual knowledge about endogenous H2S function. Lessons learned from paediatric accidents should result in better information about this threat for farmers and families living in houses with septic tanks, reducing the risk to their own and their children's safety. (C) 2011 Societe francaise d'anesthesie et de reanimation (Sfar). Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
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