CAMELIA LIANA BUHAS, BOGDAN ADRIAN BUHAS, LUCIA GEORGETA DAINA, BIANCA HANGANU, IRINA SMARANDA MANOILESCU, CLAUDIA TEODORA JUDEA PUSTA, ANDREEA ALEXANDRA HLESCU, CORNELIA MIRCEA, MIHAELA CRISTINA SOMLEA, PAULA MARIAN, BEATRICE GABRIELA IOAN MULTIPLE FATAL INTOXICATIONS CAUSED BY IMPROPER CONSUMPTION OF AN ALCOHOLIC PARA-PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCT Ingestion of cheap para-pharmaceuticals (such as disinfectants, deodorizing solutions, etc.) which are designed only for external use is an unfortunate habit encountered in the recent decades in the economically disadvantaged areas of Romania inhabited by poor, uninformed, and sanitary uneducated population. These para-pharmaceutical products are based on different concentrations of ethanol. Occasionally, the manufacturer modifies the product formula, or worse omits on the label that the ethanol was replaced with methanol, resulting in mass poisoning with a large number of casualties. The authors present a case of mass poisoning by methanol that occurred during one month and resulted in 40 cases of methanol intoxication. Only 5 out of the 40 victims survived the intoxication. All the dead victims underwent medico-legal autopsy which revealed only general features, liable to poisoning. The toxicological examination result was positive for methanol in all the cases. All the intoxicated victims were homeless; they were heavy ethanol consumers, especially of the product rubbing alcohol. The male: female ratio was 31:4 and the age range was between 25 and 70 years old, with an average of 50 years. All the victims were hospitalized in deep coma, showing obvious pathological changes specific to chronic ethanol consumption. Conclusions: some alcoholic para-pharmaceutical products manufactured for external use are ingested by chronic ethanol drinkers. When these products contain methanol, they can cause severe intoxication followed by an impressively large number of deaths.
Keywords: alcoholic para-pharmaceutical, methanol, ethanol, intoxication, death