Poisoning - Ethanol

Notes
  • Ethanol poisoning occurs when too much of it is taken within a short time
  • It can occur by taking ethanol per se or products containing ethanol (especially in children).
  • Ethanol contents: whiskey 40-60%, liqueurs 22-50%, wine 8-16% and beer 3-7%.
Symptoms
  • Sedation and intoxication
  • Ataxia
  • Slurred speech
  • Respiratory depression and hypoxia
  • Hypoglycemic state especially in infants and young children
  • Hypotension (due to its vasodilation effect) but hypertension after long term use
  • Diuresis
  • Flushed skin
  • Lactic acidosis
  • Hypothermia
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Coma
  • Death
Diagnosis
  • Alcoholic smell
Management
  • If ingestion occurred within the last 1hr evacuate the stomach by use of nasogastric tube.
  • Secure the airway (in case it is required) with an endotracheal tube to ensure adequate ventilation and reduce of aspiration
  • Respiratory support and mechanical ventilation may be required.
  • Dextrose 25% to correct hypoglycemia
  • Correction of electrolyte balanceTo prevent neurologic injury administer thiamine 100 mg IV/IM
  • Activated charcoal is NOT useful
  1. Monitor
  • Blood sugar
  • Electrolyte levels
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