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Vietnamese doctors save man comatose for two days over methanol poisoning

Vietnamese doctors save man comatose for two days over methanol poisoning

Sunday, November 14, 2021, 18:51 GMT+7
Vietnamese doctors save man comatose for two days over methanol poisoning
This supplied photo shows a 56-year-old man treated for methanol poisoning at Nhan Dan Gia Dinh Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Doctors in Ho Chi Minh City have resuscitated a man who had been senseless for two days after drinking methanol-containing liquor.

Doctors at Nhan Dan Gia Dinh Hospital on Saturday said they had saved a 56-year-old man hospitalized in a coma and suffering cardiac arrhythmia, hypotension, severe metabolic acidosis, and multi-organ failure.

Before being transferred to the hospital, the patient was initially treated at another clinic on November 7, when he was diagnosed with myocardial infarction and later received endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation.

After some tests and considering other subclinical signs, Nhan Dan Gia Dinh doctors diagnosed the man with methanol poisoning, with his blood methanol concentration at 199.22 mg/dl while the normal level is zero.   

Doctors infused ethanol into the man’s stomach to prevent the conversion of methanol into toxic substances and gave him emergency dialysis twice.

On November 11, the patient recovered, communicated normally, and was discharged later.

“If not being diagnosed early and treated promptly, methanol poisoning patients will suffer severe metabolic acidosis, multi-organ failure, and cardiac arrest, leading to a high risk of death,” said Dr. Huynh Van An said.

“Even if they can be saved, they will suffer blurred vision as a complications.”

From the beginning of October, Nguyen Tri Phuong Hospital and Thong Nhat Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City have admitted dozens of patients with methanol poisoning, many of whom died.

“In general, the hospital occasionally receives patients who have drunk methanol-containing liquor, but from September, methanol poisoning cases have increased abnormally,” said Dr. Ho Thuong Dung, deputy director of Thong Nhat Hospital.

“Most of these patients are workers who had downed cheap spirits.”

Lengthy COVID-19 travel restrictions frustrated many people so some of them drank a lot of liquor as a way to soothe their souls, Dr. Dung added.

Methanol, commonly known as industrial alcohol, is used in paints or as solvents among different uses, but this substance is very toxic to the body, doctors said.

Consuming methanol is not only detrimental to the heart, brain, and respiratory system but it also causes kidney failure, cardiovascular collapse, and blindness, they warned.

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Vinh Tho / Tuoi Tre News

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