Near-fatal methemoglobinemia after recreational inhalation of amyl nitrite aerosolized with a compressed gas blower

Chih-Hao Lin, Cheng Chung Fang, Chien Chang Lee, Patrick Chow In Ko, Wen Jone Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Adverse effects associated with recreational inhalation of nitrites are usually mild and rarely life-threatening. We report a rare case of near-fatal methemoglobinemia after inhalation of amyl nitrite after aerosolizing the liquid using a compressed gas blower designed to clean photographic equipment that employed hydrofluoroalkane-134a as a propellant. A 31-year-old previously healthy male became dyspneic and fainted soon after the recreational inhalation of amyl nitrite aerosolized using a compressed gas blower. He was brought to the emergency department with severe cyanotic appearance and profound shock. Oxygen saturation was 82%, unresponsive to oxygen supply. His methemoglobin blood level was 52.2%. After 100 mg of methylene blue (2 mg/kg body weight) was administered intravenously, he recovered consciousness, and dyspnea and cyanosis subsided gradually. This case illustrates the extraordinary hazard of the use of a compressed gas blower in the recreational inhalation of nitrites. Prompt recognition and rapid antidotal treatment may adequately correct near-fatal overdose associated with recreational use of amyl nitrite.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)856-859
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Volume104
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Dec 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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