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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 25(1); 2014 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2014;25(1): 124-127.
A Case of Saponated Cresol Ingestion which Led to Altered Mentality, Chemical Dermal Burn, and Liver Toxicity
Sung Hyun Yun, Jin Hui Paik, Hyun Min Jung, Ji Hye Kim, Jun Sig Kim, Seung Baik Han
Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Inha University, Incheon, Korea. LIFSAV@inha.ac.kr
Saponated cresol solutions are common household disinfectants worldwide. Their main component, concentrated cresol, is extremely toxic and fatal; however, precise information on the clinical manifestations of cresol intoxication is not available. We report on a case of suicidal poisoning by ingestion of saponated cresol. A 63-year-old male presented with unconsciousness and brownish discoloration on the neck and anterior chest wall after ingesting 100 ml of 50% saponated cresol solution with suicidal attempt. The patient showed a wide range of clinical features of cresol intoxication, including decreased consciousness, respiratory distress, strong carbolic acid odor, dark brown urine, and chemical dermal burns on multiple areas. General treatment of cresol intoxication is intensive supportive care. In addition, reducing systemic absorption is most important in patients with cresol intoxication who present with cresol burns. Because the rate of cresol absorption through the skin is proportional to the size of the area involved and the duration of contact of the chemical with the skin rather than to the concentration of the cresol solution, gross decontamination, including removal of contaminated clothing and vigorous flushing with water, is very important. Quantitative assays for cresol and its metabolites in blood or urine are needed in order to confirm the diagnosis. However, because these analytical methods are time consuming and are not routinely available in most emergency departments, the clinical manifestations of this case may be useful in early diagnosis and treatment.
Key words: Intoxication
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