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Fatal inhalational isopropyl alcohol poisoning in a neonate

, : Fatal inhalational isopropyl alcohol poisoning in a neonate. Journal of Toxicology. Clinical Toxicology 31(3): 473-481

A 37 weeks gestation, 1500 gram male infant with multiple dysmorphic features underwent surgery for gastroschisis several hours after birth. During post-operative mechanical ventilation, 70% isopropyl alcohol was accidentally placed in the humidifier of the ventilator, resulting in an estimated 2 h exposure. While the baby seemed clinically stable, initial neurological examination was confounded by recent sedation and pancuronium paralysis. Initial post-operative hypotension was corrected with fluid administration and remained stable for the remainder of the clinical course. By 2 h post-exposure, he was moving, breathing spontaneously and opening his eyes. Isopropyl alcohol and acetone levels at 1, 6, 10 h post exposure were 31/10, 22/15, 15/20 mmol/L respectively. Isopropyl alcohol elimination t1/2 was 9.6 h. Dialysis or exchange transfusion were considered but due to their high risk and the stable infant condition, it was elected to continue with supportive care only. 12.5 h post-exposure, he suddenly became cyanotic, bradycardic, then asystolic. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. To our knowledge, this is the youngest patient reported to have toxic inhalational exposure to isopropyl alcohol and the first report on isopropyl alcohol pharmacokinetics at this age.


PMID: 8355323

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