Indian Journal of Critical Care Case Report

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VOLUME 2 , ISSUE 1 ( January-February, 2023 ) > List of Articles


Neurological Manifestations Following Ingestion of Hand Sanitizer: An Unfortunate Morbidity Tale during COVID-19 Pandemic

Cherian Roy, Rohit Patnaik, Adya K Panda, Nupur Karan, Subhransu S Padhi

Keywords : Coronavirus disease of 2019, Glasgow Coma Scale, Hand sanitizer, Leukoencephalopathy, Polyneuropathy, Schizophrenia

Citation Information : Roy C, Patnaik R, Panda AK, Karan N, Padhi SS. Neurological Manifestations Following Ingestion of Hand Sanitizer: An Unfortunate Morbidity Tale during COVID-19 Pandemic. 2023; 2 (1):8-10.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-11006-0035

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 07-03-2023

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2023; The Author(s).


Introduction: COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in January 2020. To stop the spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus, the use of hand disinfectants increased significantly, even in household areas. These alcohol-based solutions may be the cause of suicides and homicides by both intentional and accidental exposures. Cases reported with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of central nervous system involvement in toxic alcohol-based hand sanitizers are limited. Case description: A 26-year-old patient with schizophrenia was brought to the emergency department (ED) following self-ingestion of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. An initial non-contrast computed tomography (NCCT) brain was normal. During weaning from ventilatory support, we noticed a motor deficit in all four limbs with difficulty in weaning. Subsequent MRI brain showed features suggestive of toxic leukoencephalopathy. Nerve conduction studies (NCSs) revealed motor polyneuropathy in all four limbs. Conclusion: Alcohol-based hand sanitizer ingestion may produce extensive brain involvement with polyneuropathy, which can be fatal.

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