Iron toxicity


Appropriate Tests

Acute toxicity (oral or intravenous iron)

Iron studies must be performed urgently. See Table 3.

In suspected iron poisoning serum iron concentrations less than 55 µmol/L between 1 and 6 h post-ingestion do not usually produce any clinical problems.

Levels in the 55-310 µmol/L range are associated with clinically mild iron poisoning.

Concentrations greater than 310 µmol/L are associated with liver toxicity.

  • Vomiting


  • Shock

Creatinine, Urea.

  • Hyperglycaemia


  • Leucocytosis

Full blood count.

  • Anaphylaxis (parenteral iron preparations)


Chronic iron overload

See Hereditary haemochromatosis, Haemosiderosis.


Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. Iron Studies Standardised Reporting Protocol. Sydney: RCPA, 2013.

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