Ingestion of plastic toys is common in children and usually does not result in harm. We report a case of coma in a 20-month-old child after an ingestion of a toy containing 1,4-butanediol, an industrial solvent used to manufacture plastics. When ingested, 1,4-butanediol is metabolized to γ-hydroxybutyrate, which can have significant systemic effects including death. Health care providers should suspect the possibility of a toxic component when a presumed nontoxic object causes unusual symptoms.
From the *Section of Critical Care Medicine, †Section of Emergency Medicine, and ‡Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children's Hospital, Little Rock, AR.
Reprints: Laura A. Ortmann, MD, Section of Critical Care Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children's Hospital, 800 Marshall St, Slot 512-12, Little Rock, AR 72202 (e-mail: email@example.com).