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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 278-280

Pitfalls of Sanitizer Use in the COVID-19 Era: A Case Report of Hand Sanitizer-Induced Blindness due to Contamination by Methanol

1 Department of Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College and Lok Nayak Hospital, New Delhi, Delhi, India
2 Department of Biochemistry, Maulana Azad Medical College and Lok Nayak Hospital, New Delhi, Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sunita Aggarwal
Director Professor, Room No. 122, BL Taneja Block, Maulana Azad Medical College, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi, Delhi 110002
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mamcjms.mamcjms_31_22

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The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted the availability of hand sanitizers worldwide, which have become ubiquitous. Their widespread utility has also contributed to increased accidental or intentional sanitizer ingestion. We describe the case of a young male who presented with an unintentional ingestion of hand sanitizer. On examination, he had a depressed sensorium, and further evaluation revealed severe metabolic acidosis. The patient was suspected of ethanol toxicity and underwent hemodialysis with concurrent bicarbonate replacement. However, the presence of bilateral visual loss, characteristic Computed Tomography (CT) brain finding of hemorrhagic putaminal necrosis, and normal serum ethanol levels prompted a search for methanol in the sanitizer. Specific biochemical tests confirmed this for methanol, and a diagnosis of sanitizer-induced methanol poisoning was made.

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