Haycarb's Antidote to save suicide victims
The 'humble' coconut shell, converted to activated carbon by the
Hayleys Group subsidiary, Haycarb in a process of value addition typical
to the Blue chip conglomerate, is saving hundreds of lives in hospitals
across Sri Lanka, following donations by the company of over 15,000
bottles of the wonder product to the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
Bottles containing 50 grams each of medical grade-activated carbon in
powder form, will be distributed to state hospitals where they will be
administered to people who attempt to take their own lives by swallowing
Yellow Oleander (Kaneru) seeds or pesticides.
The carbon powder mixed with water to form a suspension is
administered orally to the victim of attempted suicide, and adsorbs the
poison in his or her stomach, working as an effective and inexpensive
antidote with a high success rate.
"Activated carbon has saved many thousands of lives in Sri Lanka over
the years and its efficacy has been confirmed by a study done by Sri
Lankan and British specialists over six months and published in the
authoritative medical journal "The Lancet," Haycarb Director Rohan Peris
said. "This is just one of many possible applications for activated
carbon, which is widely used in water and air purification all over the
As an antidote for poisoning by Kaneru and certain types of
pesticides, activated carbon replaces the antidote used in hospitals
overseas, a single treatment of which costs Rs. 265,000. Most local
hospitals resort to flush out the poison by induced vomiting because
they cannot afford the imported antidote. The success rate of this
method is comparatively low as opposed to the use of activated carbon
which is much easier to administer.
The Chilaw Hospital alone, one of the biggest recipients of donations
of activated carbon has saved 451 victims between April 2005 and March
2006, achieving a success rate of 95 per cent in a clear demonstration
of the value of activated carbon, Peris said.