Liquid radiator (ethylene glycol) of overdose

Abdomen | General Practice | Liquid radiator (ethylene glycol) of overdose (Disease)


Ethylene glycol is an organic compound widely used as an automotive antifreeze and a precursor to polymers. In its pure form, it is an odorless, colorless, syrupy, sweet-tasting liquid. Ethylene glycol is toxic, and ingestion can result in death.

Ethylene glycol is not to be confused with diethylene glycol, a heavier ether diol, or with polyethylene glycol, a nontoxic polyether polymer.

The first symptom of ethylene glycol ingestion is similar to the feeling caused by drinking alcohol (ethanol). Within a few hours, more toxic effects become apparent. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, convulsions, stupor, or even coma.

Causes and Risk factors

An overdose of ethylene glycol can damage the brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, and lungs. The poisoning causes disturbances in the bodys chemistry, including metabolic acidosis. The disturbances may be severe enough to cause profound shock, organ failure, and death.

As little as 120 milliliters (approximately 4 fluid ounces) of ethylene glycol may be enough to kill an average-sized man.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The goal of treatment is to support the bodys vital functions and remove the poison from the body. Most people with ethylene glycol poisoning will need to be admitted to a hospitals intensive care unit for close monitoring, and may need a breathing machine. Those who recently swallowed the ethylene glycol may have their stomach pumped to help remove some of the poison.

Other treatments may include: activated charcoal, sodium bicarbonate solution given through a vein (IV) to reverse severe acidosis, antidotes that slow the formation of the poisonous by-products in the body.

In severe cases, hemodialysis may be used to directly remove the ethylene glycol and other poisonous substances from the blood. Dialysis reduces the time needed for the body to clear the toxins. Dialysis is also needed by patients who develop severe kidney failure as a result of ethylene glycol poisoning. It may be needed for many months afterwards. ...