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Cardiac arrest: Adolescent died after deliberately inhaling deodorant spray
Dutch health experts report on an adolescent who died after deliberately inhaling deodorant spray. The teenager who used the spray for intoxication suffered a cardiac arrest. Doctors are now warning of the fatal risks from household products that can be misused for inhalation.
Teenagers wanted to get high
Inhaling deodorant spray to get "high" can be fatal, warn doctors in the magazine "BMJ". In the journal “BMJ Case Reports”, the doctors describe the case of a 19-year-old who inhaled butane from a deodorant spray in the absence of other drugs and suffered a cardiac arrest.
Lethal deodorant sprays
Health experts have been warning about the dangers of deodorant spray for a long time, because inhaling a lot of deodorant gas can lead to life-threatening cardiovascular disorders, respiratory paralysis and suffocation.
Unfortunately, such sprays are misused by young people for sniffing and getting intoxicated.
Deodorant is a very dangerous entry-level drug, especially for younger teenagers, since it is cheap and available everywhere.
In the past, therefore, numerous adolescents ended up in the hospital and a young girl from Great Britain died several years ago as a result.
Inhaling deodorant spray also cost the life of the 19-year-old described in the "BMJ Case Reports".
Household products for improper inhalation
Deodorant spray is one of several common household products, including paint thinner and hairspray, that contain substances that can be used for improper inhalation, the authors write.
This is particularly popular with teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds. In the United States alone, up to 125 deaths would therefore be recorded each year.
Inhalation abuse comes in three forms: direct inhalation, known as sniffing; Inhalation through a piece of clothing called "huffing"; and "bagging" using a plastic bag or balloon.
Volatile compounds, aerosols and compressed gases are all possible candidates for abuse, according to the authors.
Doctors could no longer help the teenager
In the case report described, a 19-year-old man who was treated in a drug rehabilitation clinic for abuse of ketamine and cannabis suffered a relapse.
He put a towel over his head and inhaled deodorant spray to get intoxicated.
According to the doctors, he quickly became hyperactive, collapsed and had to be resuscitated. The patient was transferred to an intensive care unit where he was placed in an induced medical coma.
But his condition didn't improve. According to the doctors, further treatment would have been pointless, which is why it was avoided. The young man died shortly thereafter.
Butane in particular can be dangerous
While the authors limit their report to one case, cardiac arrest has been reported for 40 years after volatile substance inhalation, with the first death from inhaling deodorant spray in 1975.
“The main toxin in inhalation with deodorant spray is butane. Butane is one of the hydrocarbons commonly used in propellants for sprayable household products, ”they write.
“Hydrocarbons are lipophilic (fat-soluble) and therefore easily cross the air-blood and blood-brain barrier. It [butane] dissolves in high-fat tissues such as the nervous system, adipose tissue, liver and kidneys, ”the experts explain.
However, they point out: "The abuse of volatile substances is one of the least known methods of achieving a intoxication-like state through drugs."
The authors conclude by warning that young people with drug abuse may be particularly vulnerable in isolated environments, such as drug withdrawal or prison, because there are mostly few drugs, but household products are available that could be used for abuse. (ad)