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Plastic resin hardener poisoning

Definition

This is poisoning from swallowing or eating a plastic resin hardener.

This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Poisonous Ingredient

  • Epoxy
  • Resin

Where Found

  • Various plastic resin hardeners

Symptoms

  • Airways and lungs
  • Eyes, ears, nose, and throat
    • Severe pain in the throat
    • Severe pain or burning in the nose, eyes, ears, lips, or tongue
    • Throat swelling (which may also cause breathing difficulty)
    • Loss of vision
  • Heart and blood vessels
    • Low blood pressure, develops rapidly
    • Collapse
  • Stomach and intestines
    • Severe abdominal pain
    • Vomiting, possibly bloody
    • Burns of the esophagus (food pipe)
    • Blood in the stool
  • Skin
    • Irritation
    • Burn
    • Necrosis (holes) in the skin or underlying tissues

Home Treatment

Seek immediate emergency medical help. If the resin is on the skin, wash the area thoroughly for at least 15 minutes. Contact poison control for further information.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:

  • The patient's age, weight, and condition
  • Name of product (as well as the ingredients and strength, if known)
  • The time it was swallowed
  • The amount swallowed

Poison Control, or a local emergency number

The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.

See National Poison Control Center.

What to expect at the emergency room

The health care provider will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. The patient may receive:

  • Fluids by IV
  • Medicines to treat symptoms
  • A nasogastric (NG) tube through the nose into the stomach to empty the stomach (gastric lavage)
  • Medicines to treat an allergic reaction (diphenhydramine, epinephrine, or prednisone)
  • Endoscopy -- the placement of a camera down the throat to see the extent of burns to the esophagus and the stomach
  • Irrigation (washing of the skin), perhaps every few hours for several days
  • Skin debridement (surgical removal of burned skin)
  • Breathing help, possibly a breathing tube
  • Oxygen

Expectations (prognosis)

How well a patient does depends on the amount of poison swallowed and how quickly treatment was received. The faster a patient gets medical help, the better the chance for recovery.

Swallowing such poisons can have severe effects on many parts of the body. Extensive damage to the mouth, throat, eyes, lungs, esophagus, nose, and stomach are possible.

The ultimate outcome depends on the extent of this damage. Damage continues to occur to the esophagus and stomach for several weeks after the poison was swallowed, and death may occur as long as a month later. Treatment may require removal of part of the esophagus and stomach.

References

Bruno GR, Carter WA. Caustics. In: Tintinalli JE, Kelen GD, Stapczynski JS, Ma OJ, Cline DM, eds. Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 6th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2004:chap 181.


Review Date: 12/15/2011
Reviewed By: Eric Perez, MD, St. Luke's / Roosevelt Hospital Center, NY, NY, and Pegasus Emergency Group (Meadowlands and Hunterdon Medical Centers), NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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