Selected topic: Toxicology| Volume 39, ISSUE 5, P618-622, November 2010

Suicide Attempt by Intravenous Injection of Gasoline: A Case Report

Published:February 17, 2009DOI:


      Background: There is much experience with intoxication by aspiration of volatile hydrocarbon products, whereas intravenous injection of these distillates is rare. There are only few reports that describe a wide variety of associated pathological changes, predominantly in the pulmonary system. Objectives: We report the case of an intravenous self-injection of gasoline by a young man in a suicide attempt. Case Report: Immediately after injecting gasoline, the 22-year-old man developed bradycardia, hypotension, and increasing dyspnea. Computed tomography scan of the chest showed signs consistent with diffuse alveolar-toxic damage to the lung. These symptoms and radiological findings are similar to those commonly observed after inhalation of this type of substance. This may have been due to diffusion of gasoline into the alveoli, where its presence leads to this characteristic damage. In this patient, gasoline entered the intramuscular tissue, and the patient developed a soft-tissue phlegmon at the forearm. At operation, gas emanation and superficial necrosis were noted. Nevertheless, the patient's outcome was good, with full recovery within 3 weeks. Conclusions: The major changes in this patient after intravenous injection of gasoline were in the pulmonary system, including hypoxemia and radiological findings that could be related to an exhalation of the volatile substance. In addition, gas in the musculature of the injection area caused a soft-tissue phlegmon.


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