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European Journal of Emergency Medicine:

Acute neurologic symptomatology after accidental ingestion of Freon 134A

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Acute neurologic symptomatology after accidental ingestion of Freon 134A F. Thys, P. Hantson, P. Hoet, P. Janssens, F. Verschuren, E. Marion, A. El Gariani, P. Meert and M.S. Reynaert Emergency Department, Cliniques Universitaires Saint‐Luc, Université de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium Introduction: Hydrofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are increasingly used in industry as substitutes for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Currently, intoxication reports are accidental inhalation of Freon 123 or of a mixture of Freon 123/124. Case report: A 27‐year‐old man was admitted to the emergency department for major dizziness that appeared 10 minutes after the ingestion of 100 ml of water from a 250 ml bottle. In this bottle, his colleagues had vaporized an aerosol containing 95% Freon 134A/5% dimethylether, for recreational purposes. Physical examination was normal. All biological investigations were unrelevant, except for an increase in liver enzymes. The urine determination of trifluoroacetic acid was negative. The abdomen ultrasonography revealed liver steatosis. The patient was discharged after 24 hours. A clinical and biological follow‐up was obtained. No adverse effect was observed after 14 days. Evolution of liver enzymes:


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Discussion: To our knowledge, this is the first case of ingestion of Freon 134A. In our case, the main adverse effect was neurologic but was of short duration. Liver enzymes increase seems unrelated to toxic exposure, but more because of preexisting liver steatosis. This type of Freon seems to be less toxic than Freon 11, 123 or 124.

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Abstracts or communications presented during the XXXVIII Congress of the Society for Clinical Toxicology, organized in Brussels on 7 and 8 December 2000, with the participation of The Belgian–Luxembourg Society of Toxicology (BLT) The Belgian Society of Intensive Care (SIZ) The Belgian Society of Emergency and Disaster Medicine (BESEDIM) The French Society of Analytical Toxicology (SFTA)

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.