The goal of treatment is to support the body’s vital functions and remove the poison from the body.
Most people with ethylene glycol poisoning will need to be admitted to a hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) for close monitoring, and may need a breathing machine (respirator).
Those who recently swallowed the ethylene glycol may have their stomach pumped (suctioned). This can help remove some of the poison.
Other treatments may include:
- Activated charcoal
- Sodium bicarbonate solution given through a vein (IV) to reverse severe acidosis
- Medicines that slow the formation of the poisonous by-products in the body
In severe cases, hemodialysis may be used to directly remove the ethylene glycol and other poisonous substances from the blood. Dialysis reduces the time needed for the body to clear the toxins. Dialysis is also needed by patients who develop severe kidney failure as a result of ethylene glycol poisoning. It may be needed for many months afterwards.
If treated promptly, patients with ethylene glycol poisoning can recover, even from renal failure or coma. However, with delayed or no treatment, ethylene glycol poisoning can be deadly.
- kidney failure
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Ethylene glycol ingestion is a medical emergency. If you suspect possible poisoning, seek emergency care immediately. Do not wait for poisoning symptoms to develop.
You may also want to contact the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. The center can be called from anywhere in the United States. The 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
Ethylene glycol intoxication : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
Ethylene glycol intoxication : Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests
Ethylene glycol intoxication : Treatment
Review Date : 1/30/2009
Reviewed By : John E. Duldner, Jr., MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Samaritan Regional Health System, Ashland, Ohio. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only — they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.