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Old 02-23-2020, 12:15 PM
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What would be the effect of consuming antifreeze


I do not want to search the internet where I would have to do a good deal of research because I lack any knowledge of the subject and would have to learn enough to judge the good content from the nonsense. I know there are doctors and other healthcare professionals who can give a definitive answer.

If a healthy young adult neither over nor underweight ingested a (small?) amount of antifreeze what would the physiological effects be? Specifically, what would it do to their vital signs? In a hospital setting, could they test for it by drawing blood -- or presumably stomach contents on a live patient? If it is able to be detected in a blood draw, would you have to test for it specifically or would it show up in a normal tox screen? (By which I assume they mean an opioid test.)

Depending upon the answer, would the effects of consuming antifreeze be more dramatic if it was done more than once, but weeks or months apart? Lastly, would consuming antifreeze provide any type of high at all? Is there any reason to do it other than self harm?
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Old 02-23-2020, 12:20 PM
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In the olden days there was permanent antifreeze, ethylene glycol, IIRC, that would probably kill you, but it gave no high, and temporary antifreeze. The latter was methyl alcohol and it would give you a high, but probably blind you or kill you.
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Old 02-23-2020, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
In the olden days there was permanent antifreeze, ethylene glycol, IIRC, that would probably kill you, but it gave no high, and temporary antifreeze. The latter was methyl alcohol and it would give you a high, but probably blind you or kill you.
Thank you for the reply, of course it leads to more questions.
Menthol alcohol, is essentially moonshine correct? That would have been discovered so it is not a cause. Ethylene glycol is still a suspect (I am guessing here), is there a way to dose it so accurately that it will appear dangerous but not be fatal? If so, what would it do to the standard vital signs (i.e.: temp, blood pressure, heart rate, etc.) Also, how long would the effects last? Hours, days? If tested for specifically would it be easy to detect? And might it be detected if not specifically tested for. (Dozens of blood tests on this particular patient over an eight month period.)
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Old 02-23-2020, 01:23 PM
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Methyl alcohol (not Menthol) is produced as a by-product in moonshine stills, and normally by mistake. It is toxic and can cause blindness.

Most moonshine distillers are probably looking to produce a product that they (and their customers) can consume and survive to buy again.

Ethelene glycol will probably kill you.

"The lethal dose in adult humans for ethylene glycol is about 100 ml (1/3 cup)."

https://fscimage.fishersci.com/msds/09400.htm

The remainder of your questions are somewhat odd and disturbing:

Quote:
is there a way to dose it so accurately that it will appear dangerous but not be fatal? If so, what would it do to the standard vital signs (i.e.: temp, blood pressure, heart rate, etc.) Also, how long would the effects last? Hours, days? If tested for specifically would it be easy to detect?
and I am by no means qualified to answer them.
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Old 02-23-2020, 01:37 PM
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Thank you for the reply, of course it leads to more questions.
Menthol alcohol, is essentially moonshine correct? That would have been discovered so it is not a cause. Ethylene glycol is still a suspect (I am guessing here), is there a way to dose it so accurately that it will appear dangerous but not be fatal? If so, what would it do to the standard vital signs (i.e.: temp, blood pressure, heart rate, etc.) Also, how long would the effects last? Hours, days? If tested for specifically would it be easy to detect? And might it be detected if not specifically tested for. (Dozens of blood tests on this particular patient over an eight month period.)
No, methyl alcohol or methanol is a completely different chemical from the ethanol found in moonshine or any other type of alcoholic beverage. Its use as automotive antifreeze has been obsolete for decades. Automotive antifreeze, in modern usage, is a mixture of either ethylene glycol or propylene glycol and a variety of other chemicals that inhibit corrosion and increase useful lifespan. Ethylene glycol based antifreeze is highly toxic to mammals, whereas propylene glycol based antifreeze is less so. Although the propylene glycol itself is not toxic, the other additives are. Consuming antifreeze of any kind will not cause any kind of euphoria or "high". There is no recreational purpose to do it. Additionally, the symptoms of ethylene glycol poisoning are well known and the substance itself can be directly detected.

Additionally, what is the basis for your question as it is clearly not simple curiosity. It is always better to describe the full context when asking a question for which you plan to make some kind of larger conclusion. And as scudsucker indicates, the nature of your question is disturbing and is going to affect how people answer your question.

Last edited by Cleophus; 02-23-2020 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 02-23-2020, 01:48 PM
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I need to correct the above paragraph:

Quote:
Consuming antifreeze of any kind will not cause any kind of euphoria or "high". There is no recreational purpose to do it. Additionally, the symptoms of ethylene glycol poisoning are well known and the substance itself can be directly detected.
should read

Quote:
Consuming ethylene glycol antifreeze may be similar to ethanol, but propylene glycol of any kind will not cause any kind of euphoria or "high". There is no recreational purpose to do that. Additionally, the symptoms of ethylene glycol poisoning are well known and the substance itself can be directly detected.
Basically, is your question "would someone try to drink ethylene glycol antifreeze if they are an alcoholic and trying to get drunk?" Yes, it's possible but not at all unknown and it can be detected.

Last edited by Cleophus; 02-23-2020 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 02-23-2020, 02:27 PM
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These days any ethylene glycol-based antifreeze sold in the U.S. should contain a bittering agent to warn accidental human or animal imbibers, or intended victims of homicidal poisoning.

Routine hospital tests that are abnormal in ethylene glycol poisoning are suggestive in the right clinical setting but require specific testing i.e. gas chromatography for confirmation. Thankfully, shows like Forensic Files have increased public and healthcare provider awareness of these cases, so it should be lots easier now to catch the dickheads who attempt murder via ethylene glycol poisoning.
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Old 02-23-2020, 03:27 PM
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No, methyl alcohol or methanol is a completely different chemical from the ethanol found in moonshine or any other type of alcoholic beverage.
While this is true for modern day moonshine or any liquor, it was not always so.

During the fermentation process, some methanol is produced along with a majority of ethanol. When large batches of the fermented product was distilled to make moonshine, Methanol being the lightest (vapor pressure wise) would concentrate in the first liquid (condensate) drawn from the still.

Moonshine makers throw away the first liquids coming out of their stills.

Last edited by am77494; 02-23-2020 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:27 PM
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First, thanks to all for the answers. And to clarify this is all within the last year so ancient practices or substances are unlikely to play into the situation (but I suppose not impossible).

Second I knew this question would lead to these kinds of questions, but for the time being I am not going to be as forthcoming as some would like. This is a real life situation, and actually, I would like indications or evidence that the results I am viewing CANNOT be from ingesting antifreeze. On the other hand, I do not want to say what the situation is and inadvertently lead anyone to say “yes- A plus B could equal C”.

I am trying to reverse engineer a possible cause for a situation I do not want to disclose at this time. I would like to know if that is a possible cause, or a knee jerk reaction. I suspect this is an over application of Occam’s Razor – unusual condition exists, normal causes seem to be excluded, but unusual substance found. Therefore B must have caused A.

That is why I am asking about specific results. Some answers can lead to – “never mind, that isn’t it”. Other answers may lead to a fuller explanation and potentially an acceptance of very unwanted news.

Lastly, I can assure everyone I am not planning to murder anyone using antifreeze or not using antifreeze. However, if certain accusations turn out to completely unfounded – well then, certain people’s futures and licenses are going to be in a very tenuous state.
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:33 PM
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While this is true for modern day moonshine or any liquor, it was not always so.

During the fermentation process, some methanol is produced along with a majority of ethanol. When large batches of the fermented product was distilled to make moonshine, Methanol being the lightest (vapor pressure wise) would concentrate in the first liquid (condensate) drawn from the still.

Moonshine makers throw away the first liquids coming out of their stills.
Fractionating at work!
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:34 PM
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These days any ethylene glycol-based antifreeze sold in the U.S. should contain a bittering agent to warn accidental human or animal imbibers, or intended victims of homicidal poisoning.

Routine hospital tests that are abnormal in ethylene glycol poisoning are suggestive in the right clinical setting but require specific testing i.e. gas chromatography for confirmation. Thankfully, shows like Forensic Files have increased public and healthcare provider awareness of these cases, so it should be lots easier now to catch the dickheads who attempt murder via ethylene glycol poisoning.
Kidney and liver function tests are also very good indicators for this. There is a specific antidote, but if that's not available, intravenous ethanol is used because it pushes the poison off the cells' receptors.

ETA: The antidote is fomepizole, or vodka given via IV or NG tube if you're a veterinarian.

https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/bl...odka-antidote/

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 02-23-2020 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 02-23-2020, 06:29 PM
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Perhaps the question needs to be asked differently. If someone highly suspected of (but not officially diagnosed with) Factitious Disorder, specifically Munchausen Syndrome did ingest antifreeze but survived – what would the results be? This information can only support or contradict accusations being made.

Would blood tests done to detect opioid use detect any form of antifreeze?

Last edited by Temporary Name; 02-23-2020 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 02-23-2020, 07:39 PM
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Here is a page that may be helpful. Ethylene glycol poisoning.

Test for opioids only detect opioids. No common tox screen looks for antifreeze ingestion. A tox screen is a panel of tests that looks for common drugs of abuse such as opioids, amphetamines etc. Ethanol, or regular drinking alcohol, can also be tested for.

If you think this person has ingested this recently, they should be taken to the hospital.

We can't be more helpful than that as we don't know;
What specific kind of antifreeze, there are many.
How much.
When.

Even with those answers, if you suspect the person of trying to harm themselves or to be ill, they need to go to the hospital.

Here is an interesting case study which shows how dangerous this is and how difficult it can be to determine. CA poison control

Last edited by steatopygia; 02-23-2020 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 02-23-2020, 07:48 PM
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I just saw the OP's post #9.

I am going to say no way of proving past ingestion. Brain and kidney damage of course could be permanent.
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:29 PM
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Perhaps the question needs to be asked differently. If someone highly suspected of (but not officially diagnosed with) Factitious Disorder, specifically Munchausen Syndrome did ingest antifreeze but survived – what would the results be? This information can only support or contradict accusations being made.

Would blood tests done to detect opioid use detect any form of antifreeze?
You'd be dealing with somebody in multiple organ failure, among other things.

And no, an opiate tox screen won't detect antifreeze.
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:34 AM
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Not safe for ducks


While changing the thermostat on the truck, a small amount fell on the snow. One of our ducks took a drink. It was dead in a nano-second. And the body was hard as a rock within a minute.
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:54 AM
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During the fermentation process, some methanol is produced along with a majority of ethanol. When large batches of the fermented product was distilled to make moonshine, Methanol being the lightest (vapor pressure wise) would concentrate in the first liquid (condensate) drawn from the still.

Moonshine makers throw away the first liquids coming out of their stills.
Wiki says it's a myth, although the call for citation is troubling.
Quote:
Because methanol vaporizes at a lower temperature than ethanol it is commonly believed that the foreshot contains most of the methanol, if any, from the mash. However, research shows this is not the case, and methanol is present until the very end of the distillation run.[citation needed] Despite this, distillers will usually collect the foreshots until the temperature of the still reaches 80 degrees Celsius (176 Fahrenheit). Additionally, the head that comes immediately after the foreshot typically contains small amounts of other undesirable compounds, such as acetone and various aldehydes.
Far more prevalent are unscrupulous moonshiners spiking the product with methanol as a cheap way to boost the ABV.
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Old 02-24-2020, 08:45 AM
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Wiki says it's a myth, although the call for citation is troubling.
Not sure I found anything on Wiki and not sure which part you are calling a myth.
Are you saying that methanol production during fermentation is a myth ? Or the concentration of methanol in the overhead during first distillate collection ?

Anyways - here is a published article on the NIH website that confirms what I said : Methanol contamination in traditionally fermented alcoholic beverages: the microbial dimension - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/art...__ffn_sectitle

Quote:
... . While there were speculations that unscrupulous vendors might have deliberately spiked the beverages with methanol, it is more likely that the methanol might have been produced by contaminating microbes during traditional ethanol fermentation, which is often inoculated spontaneously by mixed microbes, with a potential to produce mixed alcohols...
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Old 02-24-2020, 11:51 AM
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You'd be dealing with somebody in multiple organ failure, among other things.

And no, an opiate tox screen won't detect antifreeze.
Thank you for this reply.
I believe I can make some conclusions based upon this information. For example you are saying even one dosing would result in organ damage or failure, correct? Someone who ingested antifreeze multiple times would be very likely dead, and would have obvious organ failure for certain? Therefore the cause of multiple hospitalizations cannot be antifreeze poisoning.

Also, when you say “…among other things” could you please tell me what some of those other things might be? Specifically, what would it do to the vitals of the subject? (And here I am hoping the response contradicts the actual readings. If you have not figured by now, I am hoping to disprove antifreeze as the cause.)
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Old 02-24-2020, 11:52 AM
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While changing the thermostat on the truck, a small amount fell on the snow. One of our ducks took a drink. It was dead in a nano-second. And the body was hard as a rock within a minute.
This is a terrifying prospect.
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Old 02-24-2020, 12:05 PM
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Lifetime has recently been running a made-for-TV true crime movie about Stacey Castor, who (SPOILER ALERT) poisoned one of her husbands with antifreeze (and that wasn't even her most monstrous crime). A darker star turn for the woman from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Temporary Name, given the tenor of this thread, I feel obliged to point out that Castor was caught and sentenced to 25 to life for the antifreeze killing.
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Old 02-24-2020, 12:15 PM
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I believe I can make some conclusions based upon this information. For example you are saying even one dosing would result in organ damage or failure, correct? Someone who ingested antifreeze multiple times would be very likely dead, and would have obvious organ failure for certain? Therefore the cause of multiple hospitalizations cannot be antifreeze poisoning.
It depends on the dose. It is theoretically possible for a person to ingest small amounts repeatedly and survive, although it isn't a good idea.

It is not always a straightforward matter to diagnose, as the Wiki article says -
Quote:
As many of the clinical signs and symptoms of ethylene glycol poisoning are nonspecific and occur in many poisonings the diagnosis is often difficult.[24] It is most reliably diagnosed by the measurement of the blood ethylene glycol concentration. Ethylene glycol in biological fluids can be determined by gas chromatography.[25] Many hospital laboratories do not have the ability to perform this blood test and in the absence of this test the diagnosis must be made based on the presentation of the person.[7] In this situation a helpful test to diagnose poisoning is the measurement of the osmolal gap. The person' serum osmolality is measured by freezing point depression and then compared with the predicted osmolality based on the person's measured sodium, glucose, blood urea nitrogen, and any ethanol that may have been ingested. The presence of a large osmolal gap supports a diagnosis of ethylene glycol poisoning. However, a normal osmolar gap does not rule out ethylene glycol exposure because of wide individual variability.[26][27]
"Dose makes the poison" pretty much across the board. It is going to be difficult to prove, after the fact, that it wasn't ethylene glycol poisoning. Unless they did gas chromatography on the patient every time they were admitted, and that's not likely.

How can you prove it wasn't self-poisoning? You probably can't.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 02-24-2020, 12:48 PM
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And here's another story about Lynn Turner who poisoned not one but two husbands with antifreeze. She was sentenced to life without parole - but took her own life a few years later.
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Old 02-24-2020, 01:51 PM
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Lifetime has recently been running a made-for-TV true crime movie about Stacey Castor, who (SPOILER ALERT) poisoned one of her husbands with antifreeze (and that wasn't even her most monstrous crime). A darker star turn for the woman from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Temporary Name, given the tenor of this thread, I feel obliged to point out that Castor was caught and sentenced to 25 to life for the antifreeze killing.
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And here's another story about Lynn Turner who poisoned not one but two husbands with antifreeze. She was sentenced to life without parole - but took her own life a few years later.
I suppose I should thank you both for the warnings, instead I will refer you to post #9. In addition I will tell you that I am attempting to prevent any poisoning rather than trying to commit one—especially one using antifreeze. That should be apparent soon enough.
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Old 02-24-2020, 01:56 PM
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It depends on the dose. It is theoretically possible for a person to ingest small amounts repeatedly and survive, although it isn't a good idea.

It is not always a straightforward matter to diagnose, as the Wiki article says -"Dose makes the poison" pretty much across the board. It is going to be difficult to prove, after the fact, that it wasn't ethylene glycol poisoning. Unless they did gas chromatography on the patient every time they were admitted, and that's not likely.

How can you prove it wasn't self-poisoning? You probably can't.

Regards,
Shodan

EDITORIAL NOTE: Believe this is addressed below but want to be clear, I also suspect self poisoning of some sort. But using antifreeze is something I doubt for a variety of reasons listed below. However I am asking so those better informed than I am can educate me—I will accept whatever the facts show.

Okay we are at a time when there is no longer any point in withholding any information. The subject is the child I have raised (my nephew) whom I have been responsible for since my sister died when he was six years old (and the person I most love in the entire world). He had a very difficult childhood and despite my efforts at giving him a normal life he has significant mental health issues.

Over the last six or eight months he has been in hospitals several times a week, or if he has been given a bed- for about a week to get discharged. Often the condition is severe, even life threatening and different doctors at different hospitals have told me these things cannot be faked. CANNOT BE FAKED! So I learned to ask a better question, yes- they could be self caused, almost always by taking medication inappropriately. Hence all the tests for opiate use (all negative except one time when an unrelated injury caused him to be prescribed an opiate). There is little doubt he is causing this circumstance somehow, but he is fooling the entire medical profession as far as I know. Also, it is very dangerous before you even get to the possibility of antifreeze. (Why I want to find out the truth – but more below.) His first hospitalizations were vague symptoms; upset stomach, fainting, ‘seizures’, etc. I have learned state law deems hospitals must take the patient at his word unless it is contradicted by something substantive like a medical test. Now he sometimes has dangerous heart rates or blood pressures that must be induced. (Again, I am not defending the position that he is not causing this, I believe he is. I am saying it is unlikely he is using antifreeze—but I remain open to the possibility.)

No tests for antifreeze has ever been done as far as I know (and I have almost all medical papers), but something has to be causing what is a very serious and dangerous series of conditions. Recently when he was evicted, a container of antifreeze was found under the bathroom sink with other chemicals (cleaners and such) which are almost all deadly. After the fact, his mental health clinic has determined that the antifreeze “hidden” under the sink is the cause of his numerous hospitalizations. As a result of that flippant conclusion someone who needs help is instead in grave danger of incarceration instead of treatment.

Because they are a licensed agency in the field of mental health, their reports are taken as gospel by officers of the court. Despite the fact that there is no direct evidence, and that he is not careful enough to use antifreeze to trigger over forty hospitalizations without killing himself, he is now being treated as a criminal (and I know he must be committing some crime) rather than as a someone who desperately needs help. I am not saying: “No way, not my kid!” I am saying we need to know for sure what he is using to cause these episodes. The “well it isn’t the usual cause, and antifreeze was found . . .” is a little circumstantial to me. If it is antifreeze I want to know it!! But if it isn’t I don’t want everyone involved assuming it is because it is written in a report (without a bit of substance to back it).

Lastly, I know I must be biased by my role in his life—but I am of the opinion his clinic sucks and causes more problems for him than they correct. I believe they were well intentioned in the beginning, until he caused so much paperwork and so much trouble. Now they just want to punish him (which he deserves) but without helping him; far more interested in reducing their paperwork than in helping him overcome his challenges. I could tell you stories about them, but right now I am far more interested in figuring how to help this kid.
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Old 02-24-2020, 01:58 PM
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Here is a page that may be helpful. Ethylene glycol poisoning.

Test for opioids only detect opioids. No common tox screen looks for antifreeze ingestion. A tox screen is a panel of tests that looks for common drugs of abuse such as opioids, amphetamines etc. Ethanol, or regular drinking alcohol, can also be tested for.

If you think this person has ingested this recently, they should be taken to the hospital.

We can't be more helpful than that as we don't know;
What specific kind of antifreeze, there are many.
How much.
When.

Even with those answers, if you suspect the person of trying to harm themselves or to be ill, they need to go to the hospital.

Here is an interesting case study which shows how dangerous this is and how difficult it can be to determine. CA poison control

McAfee will not let me access the second link, the CA poison control one. Is there another way to see the information?
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Old 02-24-2020, 02:58 PM
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Obviously I have no answers, but here are a few things to consider:

During the times when he was in and out of the hospital, was he eating well? Had he been losing weight? - Some poisons are concentrated in the fat, and can be released more or less when the patient isn't eating well. Put them in the hospital, they have three squares and a snack, they get better. Let them out, they don't eat breakfast one day, and the cycle of illness->not eating->ILLNESS starts again. I think moth balls are one of the causes for that.

Is it possible that their real goal is a long-term mental health facility? - If he has been microdosing with ethylene glycol to sidestep drug and alcohol screenings, then he may need it. Usually that's how these infractions are used.

Contact a specialist in toxicology. Fed-ex a copy of his records without any background re:the antifreeze and see what s/he says. Push for the proper toxicological tests are done to nail down the diagnosis.

And questions: Is there any legitimate reason for him to have the antifreeze? Does he have a history of self-harm, cutting, etc.?

Last edited by TruCelt; 02-24-2020 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 02-24-2020, 05:18 PM
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McAfee will not let me access the second link, the CA poison control one. Is there another way to see the information?
McAfee may let you override individual sites, I'm not sure how. I just checked the link, it is fine. I'll summarize.

Even with the knowledge that someone may have consumed antifreeze, it is very difficult to tell without the specific test for ethylene glycol. That test is usually not immediately available.

I want to say that the antifreeze may be something of a red herring, there is no reason to believe he has ingested it beyond it having been found one time, correct? You say that the hospitals haven't checked for it. That means that they are looking at other means of causing his symptoms. You need to make the staff aware that this (antifreeze) is a possibility to rule it out if there is a next time.

This sentence;
" I have learned state law deems hospitals must take the patient at his word unless it is contradicted by something substantive like a medical test."
I have worked in hospitals in 5 different states and I am unaware of any thing similar to this. I think you may have misunderstood something. Ultimately it doesn't matter. A hospital is going to look at whatever is likely to be causing these episodes. If there is any reason to look for antifreeze, they will, regardless of what the patient says.

There are many, many medications that could cause his symptoms. Many of those medications require a specific test to look for them. Without an indication of what he may have taken, it is going to be difficult to track down (as you've seen).
I hope you have a good resolution to this.
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Old 02-24-2020, 05:53 PM
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Just coming back to say that I hear your pain, and am so glad you are there for this young man. Please don't give up.
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Old 02-24-2020, 06:20 PM
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Just coming back to say that I hear your pain, and am so glad you are there for this young man. Please don't give up.
Thank you, it would be nice if he appreciated mt efforts . . . um, more consistently.
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:13 PM
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McAfee may let you override individual sites, I'm not sure how. I just checked the link, it is fine. I'll summarize.

Even with the knowledge that someone may have consumed antifreeze, it is very difficult to tell without the specific test for ethylene glycol. That test is usually not immediately available.

I want to say that the antifreeze may be something of a red herring, there is no reason to believe he has ingested it beyond it having been found one time, correct? You say that the hospitals haven't checked for it. That means that they are looking at other means of causing his symptoms. You need to make the staff aware that this (antifreeze) is a possibility to rule it out if there is a next time.
Yes, the usual suspect seems to be opioid use, and after several negatives the second suspect was over use of prescribed psych meds. No one has ever tested for antifreeze, and the idea was born after a minimum of twenty hospital stays (visits without being admitted puts the total above forty). I have done as much as possible, and will continue to be diligent to be sure antifreeze is tested for in any future events.

The reason I began asking is that I don't believe antifreeze is what he is using, but his clinic put it into a report as an established fact, and that report has been widely circulated. Their basis is only that he had access to it, and it isn't caused by what they first claimed was the cause. I was hoping someone would say "taking a small dose of antifreeze would elevate heart rate and blood pressure". Alas, it does not seem to be so simple to dismiss the claim.

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Originally Posted by steatopygia View Post
This sentence;
" I have learned state law deems hospitals must take the patient at his word unless it is contradicted by something substantive like a medical test."
I have worked in hospitals in 5 different states and I am unaware of any thing similar to this. I think you may have misunderstood something. Ultimately it doesn't matter. A hospital is going to look at whatever is likely to be causing these episodes. If there is any reason to look for antifreeze, they will, regardless of what the patient says.

There are many, many medications that could cause his symptoms. Many of those medications require a specific test to look for them. Without an indication of what he may have taken, it is going to be difficult to track down (as you've seen).
I hope you have a good resolution to this.
First, thank you for the well wishes.
The statement about the state law was repeated in different health settings by different healthcare professionals. But it is not about believing what the patient says he took. It is about treating the patient for what their complaint is, if the patient complains about being pregnant they have to test for pregnancy for example. The strongest it was ever stated was by a staff member of the hospital he was in at the time while talking to his educational team on a conference call. I was in the school as part of the team and heard the following exchange. The school administrators started off pretty cool and professional -- but eventually they said something like: "Come on! You just gave us all this background, you must at least suspect ....." This was after a pretty long exchange between the hospital and the school nurse. The hospital said: "Of course we suspect foul play, but state law mandates that we treat a patient for what their complaint is without regard to our views of the matter."

The thing I took from the statement was that hospitals have to assume there is a wolf no matter how many time the patient has called wolf in the past. The school wanted him discharged so he could get seat time and not have to stretch his career over an additional semester (it was well established there was NO medical risk), but the hospital staff replied essentially- we are going to play it by the book because we must, even though we suspect there is nothing to the claim.

Thank you for this wealth of information. I was hoping I could acquire a silver bullet (have seen it happen on this board before) that would give me some way of getting him out from under the accusations of a clinic that is not honest and fair minded. I would rather not start a pissing match with them, but I am not going to allow them to start submitting fiction to the courts.
  #32  
Old 02-25-2020, 08:31 AM
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Certain types of antifreeze, along with 'caustic chemicals', can be used to manufacture methamphetamine.
Some types of cheap antifreeze contain enough alcohol to potable to an addict.
Amphetamine and alcohol withdrawals combined can present as strange issues to medical staff when they have neither proper information nor data (since the tests were for other substances).
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:56 AM
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Not sure I found anything on Wiki and not sure which part you are calling a myth.
Are you saying that methanol production during fermentation is a myth ? Or the concentration of methanol in the overhead during first distillate collection ?
Sorry I wasn't clear. Distillers certainly throw away the head; there are are reasons enough to do so besides methanol poisoning. The myth, quite possibly believed by some distillers, is that all the methanol comes out first.
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Old 02-25-2020, 11:14 AM
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Certain types of antifreeze, along with 'caustic chemicals', can be used to manufacture methamphetamine.
Some types of cheap antifreeze contain enough alcohol to potable to an addict.
Amphetamine and alcohol withdrawals combined can present as strange issues to medical staff when they have neither proper information nor data (since the tests were for other substances).
This seems unlikely to me, he actually refuses to drink at all under any circumstances (which I know is very unusual in his circle). Except for one time when a roommate gave him a pill that was supposed to be an aspirin, he is not a drug user. This is not a parental blind spot; I know he could fool me potentially. What he can’t do is fool me, and his entire housing staff, and his clinical staff, and his school. No one thinks he takes drugs to get high—but perhaps occasionally to be admitted to a hospital. What you are describing sounds like someone far more immersed in a drug culture. He is as naive as a twelve year old, but has all the rights and privileges of an adult. This is another reason I don’t believe he has ever ingested antifreeze – he is just too much of a dumbass, he is not capable of pulling it off without disastrous results.

In short it is very unlikely he could be suffering from withdrawal, but I will pass this on to the healthcare professionals for consideration.
(Also, it couldn't be as variable-- he has been denied admittance at one hospital, then gone to a different hospital within hours and been admitted with genuine symptoms on various occasions. Withdrawal would not appear and disappear like that, but something must cause the symptoms which develop within an hour.)
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Old 02-25-2020, 05:46 PM
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Tell us again, as thoroughly as you can, what are the symptoms?
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Old 02-25-2020, 07:23 PM
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Tell us again, as thoroughly as you can, what are the symptoms?
Please see private message.
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Old 02-26-2020, 06:13 AM
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Sorry I wasn't clear. Distillers certainly throw away the head; there are are reasons enough to do so besides methanol poisoning. The myth, quite possibly believed by some distillers, is that all the methanol comes out first.
You were clear. You even quoted the part of the article as explanation. Nobody who read your post fully was confused.

That said, even a pot distillation will partition components by boiling point. Just not necessarily very well. That methanol can be found in all fractions does not falsify the claim that it is concentrated. So I share your concern about the claim.
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Old 02-26-2020, 06:29 AM
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Ok the literature on this is beyond the scope of what I'm going to access on my phone. I'm finding mixed messages on azeotropes for the ternary system.
  #39  
Old 02-26-2020, 07:07 AM
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This is a terrifying prospect.
It's worth pointing out that smaller animals tend to have faster metabolisms - and birds in particular are known for having really fast metabolisms. This is why canaries were used in coal mines for CO detection: they showed symptoms of CO poisoning long before miners did, giving the miners time to evacuate before falling ill themselves. So while gulping antifreeze might quickly kill a duck, it doesn't follow that a human would be rendered dead just as quickly, even assuming a scaled-up dose.
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Old 02-26-2020, 07:22 AM
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Thank you DesertDog and Ruken. I understand the post now and did my own reading and you are right - Methanol does NOT concentrate in the heads. I stand corrected.

I’ve put a link for easy reference :

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/...0.1002/jib.441

“ In turn, the solubility of the methanol in water, owing to its capacity to form hydrogen bridges, ensures that it is present in all fractions (often in the greatest concentration in tails), regardless of its lower boiling point “
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Old 02-26-2020, 07:39 AM
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IANAD, but here's a thought. It sounds to me like he is suffering from a combination of depression and actual physical illness. You state that some sort of self-harm is certain, but I am not so sure. Yes, the antifreeze is a pretty likely culprit. But the symptoms seem to point toward something affecting his electrolyte balance, or possibly extreme fluctuations in blood sugar. Do you know if he's had a blood sugar challenge test?

My first guess would be: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addison%27s_disease
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Old 02-26-2020, 07:41 AM
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Is it possible that he admitted to a counselor at the MH clinic that he HAD been ingesting the antifreeze? Maybe he told them, but they're not allowed to repeat that to you? Has he signed disclosure agreements or powers of attorney that allow them to be completely candid with you?
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Old 02-26-2020, 11:00 AM
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Is it possible that he admitted to a counselor at the MH clinic that he HAD been ingesting the antifreeze? Maybe he told them, but they're not allowed to repeat that to you? Has he signed disclosure agreements or powers of attorney that allow them to be completely candid with you?
Yes, he has signed a ROI with all of his agencies, that was how I was able to hear the exchange between his educational team and his treating hospital I mentioned above.

But that does not mean they would be forthcoming about it. They tend to interpret and phrase things in the most damaging light. He costs them a lot of resources and is annoying as hell on top of that. On the other hand, his educational team, his court appointed attorney, and myself all accept his limitations and try to help him move forward with the best life he can accomplish.

The clinic would love to see him in jail where he cannot cause as much paperwork and trouble. Or run up hospital bills on the back of the state. The rest of us would love to see him accomplish the things he easily could (like graduate from high school, maybe get a job- pay taxes, etc.) Nobody wants him in hospitals, but how we solve that is always a bone of contention.
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Old 02-26-2020, 11:24 AM
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IANAD, but here's a thought. It sounds to me like he is suffering from a combination of depression and actual physical illness. You state that some sort of self-harm is certain, but I am not so sure. Yes, the antifreeze is a pretty likely culprit. But the symptoms seem to point toward something affecting his electrolyte balance, or possibly extreme fluctuations in blood sugar. Do you know if he's had a blood sugar challenge test?

My first guess would be: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addison%27s_disease
Well I don't think it is the antifreeze, my whole point here was to find information that would indicate it had to be something else. I remain open to the possibility, but think he would have killed himself by now if it was antifreeze, and he would certainly have some organ damage.

Remember he has had forty hospitalizations within three months. He definitely feels a need to be in a hospital and sets out to make it happen (has been discharged from an ER without being admitted and four hours later he is in a different hospital twenty miles away being admitted-- all without being within ten miles of home and the antifreeze).

I will speak with his medical providers and see if Addison's is a possibility. His primary care place set up a standing appointment with him every two weeks for a two month period to keep him out of ER's and hospitals. He never made a single appointment because he was in a hospital for every one of them.

Also-- if you are correct, it would not be the first time the whole world found him guilty of something and it was later found that he was innocent and right all along. It just seems if there really is a medical cause SOMEBODY would have found it by now, they certainly have had enough swings at that pitch!
  #45  
Old 02-26-2020, 02:38 PM
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I know there are doctors and other healthcare professionals who can give a definitive answer.
Not over the Internet, they can't. Call Poison Control.
  #46  
Old 02-26-2020, 02:38 PM
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I know there are doctors and other healthcare professionals who can give a definitive answer.
Not over the Internet, they can't. Call Poison Control.
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