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Sci Rep ; 12(1): 9741, 2022 06 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890271


A methanol poisoning outbreak occurred in Iran during the initial months of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We aimed to evaluate the epidemiology of the outbreak in terms of hospitalizations and deaths. A cross-sectional linkage study was conducted based on the hospitalization data collected from thirteen referral toxicology centers throughout Iran as well as mortality data obtained from the Iranian Legal Medicine Organization (LMO). Patient data were extracted for all cases aged > 19 years with toxic alcohol poisoning during the study period from February until June 2020. A total of 795 patients were hospitalized due to methanol poisoning, of whom 84 died. Median [interquartile ratio; IQR] age was 32 [26, 40] years (range 19-91 years). Patients had generally ingested alcohol for recreational motives (653, 82.1%) while 3.1% (n = 25) had consumed alcohol-based hand sanitizers to prevent or cure COVID-19 infection. Age was significantly lower in survivors than in non-survivors (P < 0.001) and in patients without sequelae vs. with sequelae (P = 0.026). Twenty non-survivors presented with a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score > 8, six of whom were completely alert on presentation to the emergency departments. The time from alcohol ingestion to hospital admission was not significantly different between provinces. In East Azerbaijan province, where hemodialysis was started within on average 60 min of admission, the rate of sequelae was 11.4% (compared to 19.6% average of other provinces)-equivalent to a reduction of the odds of sequelae by 2.1 times [95% CI 1.2, 3.7; p = 0.009]. Older patients were more prone to fatal outcome and sequelae, including visual disturbances. Early arrival at the hospital can facilitate timely diagnosis and treatment and may reduce long-term morbidity from methanol poisoning. Our data thus suggest the importance of raising public awareness of the risks and early symptoms of methanol intoxication.

Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Poisoning , Adult , Alcoholism/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hospitalization , Hospitals , Humans , Iran/epidemiology , Methanol , Pandemics
Acute Med Surg ; 8(1): e715, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1557821


AIM: The aim of the current study was to evaluate the prevalence of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in methanol-poisoned patients admitted to two toxicology academic centers during the COVID-19 outbreak and determine their clinical features and chest/brain computed tomography (CT) findings. METHODS: Methanol-poisoned patients who had been referred during the COVID-19 pandemic were evaluated for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 by chest CT scans and/or polymerase chain reaction test. RESULTS: A total of 62 patients with confirmed methanol poisoning were enrolled in the study, with a median (interquartile range) age of 35 (28-44) years. Thirty-nine (62.9%) survived. Nine (14.5%) were diagnosed to have COVID-19, of whom four survived. There was a significant correlation between COVID-19 disease and a history of alcohol consumption (p = 0.036; odds ratio 1.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.3-2.2). Univariate analysis showed significant differences between infected and noninfected patients regarding their urea and time for first and second hemodialysis sessions, as well as the duration of ethanol administration. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, during the pandemic, specific attention should be paid to patients with a history of alcohol ingestion and elevated creatinine, loss of consciousness, and severe acidosis as these signs/symptoms could be present in both COVID-19 and methanol poisoning, making differentiation between the two challenging.

Alcohol Clin Exp Res ; 45(9): 1853-1863, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470371


BACKGROUND: During the first wave of COVID-19, many Iranians were poisoned by ingesting hand sanitizers and/or alcoholic beverages to avoid viral infection. To assess whether the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an increased prevalence of accidental hand sanitizer/alcoholic beverage exposure in children and adolescents, we compared pediatric hospitalization rates during COVID-19 and the previous year. For poisoning admissions during COVID-19, we also evaluated the cause by age and clinical outcomes. METHODS: This retrospective data linkage study evaluated data from the Legal Medicine Organization (reporting mortalities) and hospitalization data from nine toxicology referral centers for alcohol-poisoned patients (age 0 to 18 years) for the study period (February 23 to June 22, 2020) and the pre-COVID-19 reference period (same dates in 2019). RESULTS: Hospitalization rates due to ethanol and methanol exposure were significantly higher in 2020 (n = 375) than 2019 (n = 202; OR [95% CI] 1.9 [1.6, 2.2], p < 0.001). During COVID-19, in patients ≤15 years, the odds of intoxication from hand sanitizers were significantly higher than from alcoholic beverages, while in 15- to 18-year-olds, alcoholic beverage exposure was 6.7 times more common (95% CI 2.8, 16.1, p < 0.001). Of 375 children/adolescents hospitalized for alcoholic beverage and hand sanitizer exposure in 2020, six did not survive. The odds of fatal outcome were seven times higher in 15- to 18-year-olds (OR (95% CI) 7.0 (2.4, 20.1); p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: The Iranian methanol poisoning outbreak during the first wave of COVID-19 was associated with significantly increased hospitalization rates among children and adolescents-including at least six pediatric in-hospital deaths from poisoning. Public awareness needs to be raised of the risks associated with ingesting alcoholic hand sanitizers.

Alcoholic Beverages/poisoning , Alcoholic Intoxication/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hand Sanitizers/poisoning , Information Storage and Retrieval/methods , Methanol/poisoning , Adolescent , Alcoholic Intoxication/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Hospitalization/trends , Humans , Infant , Iran/epidemiology , Male , Retrospective Studies