Sri Gokulam Hospitals & Research Institute, Salem, India.
A case of ventricular fibrillation due to butane toxicity after unintentional inhalation of air freshener is reported for its rarity and to create awareness among practitioners and the public. A 25-year-old woman collapsed in the supermarket after unintended exposure to air freshener sprayed into her nostrils. Her husband started cardiopulmonary resuscitation immediately, and she was brought to the hospital. She had coarse ventricular fibrillation. Defibrillation with 360 J was given, and the rhythm reverted to normal sinus rhythm after the third shock. Epinephrine was not administered, and she was treated with esmolol infusion for ventricular ectopy. The patient recovered completely without any sequelae and was discharged on the fifth hospital day. On thin layer chromatography, the chemical content of the spray was identified to be isobutane. Avoiding epinephrine and administering β-adrenergic blockers may protect the catecholamine-sensitized heart early during resuscitation in butane exposure cases.
PMID: 21696756 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]