A case of death from severe paracetamol poisoning which presented early and received appropriate treatment according to evidence-based guidelines is presented here. It is very rare for patients to die from paracetamol poisoning when they receive N-acetylcysteine (NAC) within 8 h of ingestion. The patient had a marked lactic acidosis on presentation to hospital. This case demonstrates that a patient can die from paracetamol poisoning despite early and appropriate treatment, and raises the question whether lactic acidosis in a patient following paracetamol overdose should prompt the initiation of NAC treatment while awaiting paracetamol levels.
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Competing interests: None declared.
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