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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 23(5); 2012 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2012;23(5): 762-768.
A Case of Methanol Intoxication from Windshield Washer Fluid Ingestion Misidentified as an Alcoholic Beverage
Kyu Hong Han, Ji Han Lee, Min Suk Ha, Jeung In Hwang, Jin Hong Min, Jeung Soo Park, Hoon Kim, Suk Woo Lee, Heun Soo Do
1Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea. han7776@hanmail.net
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Daejeon Sun Hospital, Daejeon, Korea.
Almost all cases of acute methanol intoxication result from ingestion. Absorption of methanol following oral administration is rapid and peak concentration occurs within 30-60 min. Foromic acid converted metabolites of methanol are responsible for its toxic effect. Methanol poisoning typically induces nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and mild central nervous system depression. Then there is a latent period lasting, followed by an uncompensated metabolic acidosis and visual dysfunction, depending on the dose of methanol ingested. Here we report on three patients who were victims of methanol intoxication due to ingestion of windshield washer fluid, which was misidentified as an alcoholic beverage. One patient had a mild form, which included abdominal discomfort, another patient had a moderate case, which included nausea, vomiting, and acidosis, and the other patient had severe acidosis and altered mentality and visual dysfunction. Except one case of visual dysfunction, all three patients recovered successfully following medical treatment and hemodialysis.
Key words: Methanol, Intoxication, Ingestion
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