Acute accidental ingestion

A 19 year old male who had been drinking alcohol, accidentally ingested an unknown amount of chloroform. He collapsed and was taken to hospital. On admission he was found to be stuporous. He was transferred to an intensive therapy unit (ITU) and was by then unconscious with laboured breathing, cyanosis and reduced deep tendon reflexes. He was intubated and ventilated. Hypoxia could only be corrected with PEEP ventilation. LFTs were elevated but started to decrease after 4-6 days and were normal by eight weeks. The chloroform concentration 10 hours after admission was 200 mg/l. Three days after admission he began to respond and he was extubated. He had ataxia and slight tremor on finger to nose testing. These resolved in two weeks (Storms, 1973).

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