Alternate Names : Coolant poisoning, Freon poisoning, Fluorinated hydrocarbon poisoning, Sudden sniffing death syndrome
Seek immediate emergency medical care. Move the person to fresh air. Be careful to avoid being overcome with the fumes while helping someone else.
Contact Poison Control for further information.
Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:
- The patient's age, weight, and condition
- The name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
- The time it was swallowed or inhaled
- The amount swallowed or inhaled
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: Poison control center - emergency number
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
- Tube through the mouth into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)
- Endoscopy -- camera down the throat to see burns in the esophagus and the stomach
- Medicine (antidote) to reverse the effect of the poison
- Irrigation (washing of the skin), perhaps every few hours for several days
- Skin debridement (surgical removal of burned skin)
- Breathing tube
How well a patient does depends on the severity of the poisoning and how quickly medical help was received.
Severe lung damage may occur. Survival past 72 hours usually means the patient will have a complete recovery.
Sniffing freon is extremely dangerous and can lead to long-term brain damage and sudden death.