Isopropyl alcohol or isopropanol is a chemical present in rubbing alcohol, some cleaning products and hand sanitizers. Poisoning occurs once the liver could not manage the amount of isopropanol in the body.
The ingestion of isopropyl alcohol might be by accident or intentional. Remember that it triggers rapid intoxication that some use to get drunk while others use it to attempt suicide.
The signs of poisoning might arise right away or take a few hours to become evident. In severe instances, it can result to coma. The condition necessitates prompt medical care. If an individual is suspected with isopropyl alcohol poisoning, call for emergency assistance or bring the individual to the nearest emergency department.
What are the signs?
The indications of isopropyl alcohol poisoning tend to vary depending on the type and seriousness of the poisoning. Oftentimes, the signs might not manifest for several hours. The usual signs include the following:
- Stomach pain
- Rapid heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Slow breathing
- Low body temperature
- Slurred speech
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Unresponsive reflexes
- Burning sensation or pain in the throat
Management of isopropyl alcohol poisoning
The objective of treatment is to remove alcohol from the body and ensure that the organs are properly functioning. In most cases, the treatment for poisoning generally includes:
- Replacement of fluids if dehydration is present
- Dialysis to remove isopropanol and acetone from the blood
- Oxygen therapy to allow the lungs to eliminate isopropanol more rapidly
Isopropyl alcohol poisoning can be prevented by avoiding swallowing products that include isopropanol such as:
- Household cleaning products
- Rubbing alcohol
- Paint thinners
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on isopropyl alcohol poisoning is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the signs of poisoning and how it is treated by taking a standard first aid course with Saskatoon First Aid.