Pediatric Emergency Care

Skip Navigation LinksHome > November 2009 - Volume 25 - Issue 11 > Coma in a 20-Month-Old Child From an Ingestion of a Toy Cont...
Pediatric Emergency Care:
doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e3181bec93b
Illustrative Cases

Coma in a 20-Month-Old Child From an Ingestion of a Toy Containing 1,4-Butanediol, A Precursor of γ-Hydroxybutyrate

Ortmann, Laura A. MD*; Jaeger, Matthew W. MD†; James, Laura P. MD‡; Schexnayder, Steve M. MD*

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Abstract

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.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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