Netherlands: 19-Yr-Old Inhales Deodorant, Dies Of Cardiac Arrest
A recovering drug addict died after he inhaled deodorant spray in order to get high. Doctors who treated the 19-year-old in the Netherlands are highlighting this case as an example to create awareness about the severe consequences of inhaling chemicals. The doctors revealed the details of the adverse effects in a case report.
What had happened
Warning people against inhaling solvents, doctors revealed that the unnamed patient, who had shown psychotic behavioural tendencies in the past, was in a rehab because of his cannabis and ketamine use. When he relapsed, he began looking desperately for other ways to intoxicate himself.
He inhaled deodorant after placing a towel over his head and soon became hyperactive. A report in the BMJ medical journal said that inhaling deodorant can make one feel light-headed, happy and dizzy. His body kept shaking involuntarily, which made it seem that he was jumping up and down in a fit of seizure. A cardiac arrest happened after the blood flow stopped abruptly, leading to his death, reported NDTV. He was kept in a medically induced coma but could not be revived despite sincere efforts. He died nine days after he was admitted to the hospital.
The “patient did not have enough brain function to sustain life”, revealed Dr Kelvin Harvey of Maasstad Hospital’s intensive care unit in Rotterdam Kramp. The doctor called this a “very rare” case, stating that since the general population is not aware of the harsh consequences of inhaling deodorant, they continue to indulge in the same, said a report by CNN.
The medics said that butane is the main toxic ingredient in a deodorant spray. Sprayable household products often have butane as a key ingredient, which has a similar effect as alcohol.
Theories about the cardiac arrest
The doctor stated three possible theories about the cause of cardiac arrest. The patient’s heart could have been hyper-sensitised the inhalant, which can trigger a cardiac arrest due to even a slight stress. The second possibility says the inhalant could have decreased the heart muscle’s strength of contraction, leading to the stoppage of blood flow. Third, the coronary arteries could have undergone a spasm caused by the inhalant.
Youngsters use more common items than illegal drugs
Studies show that people of the age group of 15 to 19 years are most affected by solvent addiction. There could most likely be more deaths from cardiac arrest in prison and rehabilitation centres because people living in these environments often indulge in the addiction to household products.
Since several common items can be used for drug abuse, the medics said that people who have been involved in drug abuse earlier are more likely to harm themselves.
Youngsters, including those who cannot afford expensive drugs, often indulge in cheap drugs and inhalants, like rubber glue. Factors that frequently push them towards drug abuse are depression, stress and peer pressure. Drug abuse is more common among adolescents than the general population, often because the youth mostly want to experiment to form an identity.
Inhalants are extremely dangerous for the body and can have dire consequences like brain damage, delayed behavioural development, liver and kidney damage, and hearing loss. Talk to Frank, a UK drug advice organization, said that between 2000 and 2008, several 10 to 15-year-olds died due to abuse of glues, gases and aerosols rather than due to illegal drugs.
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