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Adv Emerg Nurs J. 2009 Jul-Sep;31(3):206-13. doi: 10.1097/TME.0b013e3181ad8be8.

Toxic alcohol ingestions: focus on ethylene glycol and methanol.

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Department of Pharmacy Services, University of Kentucky HealthCare, Lexington,KY 40536, USA.


The ingestion of toxic alcohols, specifically ethylene glycol (EG) and methanol, provides unique therapeutic challenges for emergency personnel. If untreated, these agents can result in significant morbidity and mortality. The toxicity of EG and methanol is dependent on endogenous metabolic processes rather than the actual parent compound ingested. These metabolites lead to the characteristic metabolic acidosis and cellular dysfunction typically seen with toxic alcohol ingestions. Fortunately, several options exist for the treatment of these ingestions, which, if implemented in the appropriate time period, can significantly decrease associated morbidity and mortality. The intent of this review is to discuss relevant management issues associated with EG and methanol intoxication in the emergency department.

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