Man consumes hand sanitizer due to alcohol addiction

09-07-2024 03:00 PM

Ammon News - A 26-year-old alcoholic was so desperate to get his fix that he stole multiple hand sanitizer bottles so he could get drunk off of the alcohol they contain.

The unnamed patient, from France, visited his local emergency room complaining of severe abdominal pain.

Despite a normal exam and receiving pain medications, the patient continued to claim his pain had not subsided and he grew agitated.

When additional testing and more doctors could not find anything wrong with him, the man's roommate informed a nurse that the patient had been taking hand sanitizer bottles, hiding them in his bag and drinking them throughout his stay.

Doctors found several bottles of sanitizer in his bag, of which about 1.5 were consumed.

The man admitted to faking his pain to get access to the sanitizer, which contained about 80 percent pure alcohol, because he was going through withdrawals due to addiction.

When the patient first arrived in the ER, doctors wrote he was irritated and 'sometimes verbally aggressive.'

They noted that his abdominal exam and vitals were normal, though he had 'general poor hygiene' and a slightly elevated heart rate.

He was given several IV medications, including morphine for pain, though he remained agitated. When the patient continued to complain of pain, additional doctors sent him for a scan of his abdomen, which did not reveal any potential cause for his pain, but rather showed he had a fatty liver, which is often a sign of alcohol use disorder.

His blood tests showed slightly elevated liver enzymes, a sign of liver damage or inflammation.

Shortly after the tests, the patient's roommate spilled the news about the hand sanitizer. Hospital staff found seven 16-ounce bottles in his bag, and about one and a half had been consumed in roughly four to six hours.

Further blood tests revealed the patient's blood alcohol level was 0.2 percent, or two and a half times the legal limit.

The doctors said this hand sanitizer contains 80 percent alcohol. A can of beer is just five percent. This means that the one and a half bottles this patient drank is the equivalent of 24 drinks.

The patient admitted that he had been drinking the sanitizer to ease his alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Daily Mail

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