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March 16, 1970

Hemodialysis for Isopropyl Alcohol Poisoning

Author Affiliations

Indiana University School of Medicine Indianapolis

JAMA. 1970;211(11):1855. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170110061019

To the Editor:—  A 70% solution of isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol), rubbing alcohol, is readily available as a potential source of poisoning; however, reported intoxications with this compound are not common.A case of isopropyl alcohol intoxication was successfully treated by means of hemodialysis. So far as we know, the isopropyl alcohol blood level in this patient was higher than that in any case previously reported. This report should emphasize the life-saving potential of hemodialysis for severe isopropyl alcohol poisonings.

Report of a Case.—  A 28-year-old white man was admitted to the Indianapolis Veterans Administration Hospital at 8:00 PM on April 7, 1968. Forty-five minutes prior to admission, the patient was observed to have ingested approximately 1 liter of rubbing alcohol over a ten-minute period. Physical examination revealed a blood pressure of 60/40 mm Hg, a pulse rate of 70 beats per minute, and a rectal temperature of 97 F (36.1 C).