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Acute 2-chloroethanol poisoning

Time:2015/11/12 3:47:28

Acute 2-chloroethanol poisoning: experience of a poison control center

BACKGROUND: 2-chloroethanol (CAS 107-07-3), a chemical once used in hastening grape vine sprouting in Taiwan, has caused severe toxicity upon acute exposure. Although such use of 2-chloroethanol is now prohibited in Taiwan, poisoning still occurs following its illegal use. Since data concerning human 2-chloroethanol poisoning remain rare, we report our experience in treating acute 2-chloroethanol-poisoned patients. METHODS: A retrospective analysis was conducted to evaluate patients with 2-chloroethanol poisoning reported to Taiwan Poison Control Center during 1985-1998.

RESULTS: Seventeen patients with 2-chloroethanol poisoning were identified. There were 11 male and 6 female patients, ranging in age from 2 to 70 years (median 53 years). The intent of exposure was suicide in 5, accident in 9, and occupational exposure in 3 patients. Oral ingestion was the most common route of exposure (14 patients). Seven out of the 17 patients died within 24 hours due to metabolic acidosis and respiratory failure. Ethanol therapy, used in 2 patients, had no apparent benefit. Moderate or mild poisoning was characterized by gastrointestinal effects only and an uneventful recovery. CONCLUSIONS: 2-chloroethanol can result in severe metabolic acidosis, respiratory failure, coma, and death after acute exposure.