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.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Journal of the Formosan Medical Association|
|Publication status||Published - 2005 Dec 1|
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