Background: Transformer oil is used in oil-filled transformers for its insulating as well as coolant properties. Transformer oil ingestion for attempted suicide is seldom heard of. Our patient’s case presented us with a major diagnostic as well as treatment challenge because we encountered such a case for the first time and were totally unaware of the fact that methanol might make up the main component of an aged transformer oil.
Case presentation: A 19-year-old Pakistani/Asian man was brought to our hospital with altered sensorium. He was found to have elevated anion gap acidosis, increased osmolal gap, and acute kidney injury. He had no evidence of rhabdomyolysis or hemolysis. Computed tomography of his head showed cerebral edema. He was resuscitated with intravenous fluids and bicarbonate. Three days later, he confessed taking transformer oil with suicidal intention. His clinical picture mimicked acute methanol intoxication. With an initial improvement in his neurological status, he started complaining of constant headache with episodes of agitation and delirium. His renal function continued worsening despite an adequate urine output. He showed a remarkable improvement in his neurological state after just one session of hemodialysis.
Conclusions: There is evidence that aged transformer oil contains methanol, and a patient who consumes it can present with features mimicking acute methanol intoxication.
Journal of medical case reports.
Khan, F. G.,
Zubair, S. M.
(2018). Young man with severe metabolic acidosis after transformer oil ingestion: a case report. Journal of medical case reports., 12(1), 290.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_med_nephrol/62