Poisoning with methyl alcohol
Acute poisoning with methyl alcohol belongs to the group of frequent and most dangerous. In comparison with ethyl alcohol, the lethal concentration in the blood is only 100 ml of pure substance (for ethyl alcohol this figure is tripled), and in some cases even less.
Excess intake of methyl alcohol in the body has a negative impact not only on the nervous and cardiovascular systems, - first of all the excretory system suffers. Therefore, it is important to act immediately and correctly to provide first aid for methanol poisoning.
How to distinguish ethyl alcohol from methyl
Methyl alcohol (methanol) refers to surrogates of ethanol - these are inferior alcohol substitutes, which are often used as alcoholic beverages. This is the so-called false surrogate, which normally does not contain ethanol, but also has a narcotic effect on the person who drank.
How to distinguish ethyl alcohol from methyl? The first kind of substance refers to food and medical, that is, it is used to treat the skin, and in some cases, inside. Methanol, on the contrary, is only a technical alcohol, which is added to solvents, household chemicals, that is, it is unfit for drinking.
To distinguish methyl alcohol from ethyl in appearance is impossible! To taste, smell and color - they are identical. Methanol smells a little weaker, but only a professional can understand it. The difference can only be determined by experience.
- If you boil two liquids and measure the boiling point, you can find that ethanol boils at a higher temperature of -78 ° C (in the case of methyl, less than 64 ° C).
- At usual ignition the color of a flame of methanol is green, at ethanol - dark blue.
- The most indicative test is with copper wire. To do this, it is heated on fire and immersed in the test fluid. In methanol there will be a sharp unpleasant smell. Ethanol will also emit a slight aroma of chubby apples.
It is clear that such experiments are rarely carried out by those who decided to drink this substance.
How Methyl Alcohol Works
The causes of methanol poisoning are not only the use of a prohibited substance, but also its further harmful effects in the body.
Absorbed in the stomach almost instantly, it turns into formic acid and formaldehyde, which in small concentrations act toxicly on all organ systems, destroying cells and blocking their work. Since almost 90% of the substance is excreted by the kidneys, the urinary system is immediately affected. This and dangerous use of even a small amount of methyl alcohol.
The work of the nervous system is disrupted, there are problems with the gastrointestinal tract, and with a large amount of ingested matter, death quickly occurs.
Symptoms of methanol poisoning
The early signs of methanol poisoning include:
- nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain;
- headache and dizziness, flies flies before the eyes, impaired consciousness;
- aggression, which is replaced by stunning, excessive salivation (hypersalivation), palpitations, increased, then decreased pressure, shortness of breath.
It is also a sign of acute poisoning with methyl alcohol. Late symptoms are much harder.
- On the second or third day, if methanol was drunk in a small dose, vision is impaired, until the development of blindness, there is pain in the legs, head.
- Loss of consciousness.
- The superficial alcoholic coma is characterized by the termination of verbal contact, hiccups, urges for vomiting, the skin becomes cold and damp, the appearance of floating eyeball movements and arbitrary urination.
- With the development of deep coma, the skin acquires a marble shade, the eyelids become edematous, the pupils dilate, pain sensitivity disappears, breathing is disrupted, convulsions and tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) appear.
- In severe cases, death can occur.
Emergency care for poisoning with methyl alcohol
Emergency care for poisoning with methyl alcohol is to correct violations of the heart, breathing and kidneys. At home, to conduct all these medical manipulations is impossible, so if you suspect methanol poisoning a person should be immediately taken to the hospital.
At the pre-hospital stage in the first hours of the action of the substance, it is not recommended to give activated charcoal, it will not have the desired effect, since methanol is absorbed very quickly. Situation is more favorable, if a person together with a poisonous substance used fatty foods. In this case, the suction is slowed down.
What is recommended to wash the stomach when poisoning with methyl alcohol? Prior to the arrival of specialized care, a stomach can be washed without a method. To do this, the victim is given a drink of 500-700 ml of warm water (and no other liquid), children use an isotonic solution of table salt. Then, using a spoon or a spatula, the root of the tongue is irritated, causing vomiting. This is the kind of help that can be provided to a person at home.
After this, upon the arrival of an ambulance, it is recommended to introduce a specific protective substance. Antidotes for methanol poisoning are:
- 30% ethanol, which can be taken orally or intravenously under the supervision of a doctor;
- folic acid inside;
- 4-methylpyrazole intravenously.
Treatment of poisoning with methyl alcohol
Further therapy takes place in the intensive care unit or toxicology department of the hospital. For what use:
- Saline laxative through the probe, warm the body;
- introduce B vitamins, ATP, Riboxin, Prednisolone, vitamin E subcutaneously, nicotinic acid;
- use symptomatic substances: intravenously prescribed Reopoliglyukin, glucose, sodium hydrogen carbonate;
- in the case of the appearance of convulsions with methyl alcohol poisoning, Piracetam and sodium oxybutyrate with Unithiol are prescribed for treatment.
Consequences of poisoning with methyl alcohol
The use of methyl alcohol can have long-term consequences. These include:
- The syndrome of prolonged compression. To do this, a person must lie in a coma that has been immobilized for at least 4 hours. There is a destruction of the muscular tissue that clogs the vessels of the kidneys, leading to a disruption in their work.
- Another consequence of methanol poisoning is cardiovascular and respiratory failure due to coma and the effect of alcohol on the nervous system.
- Visual impairment of varying degrees.
Accidental use of methyl alcohol, even in a small amount, leads to a deterioration in the performance of all body systems. For this, it is not necessary to drink 2-3 glasses of liquid, some of which is sufficient for only 30 ml of the substance. The lethal dose is not more than 100 ml. Do not experiment on the body, because even the survivors often become disabled.