In a unique case reported by the CNN, a 19-year-old boy lost his life after he inhaled a deodorant spray to get high.
Owing to a history of psychotic symptoms, the boy was being treated in a rehabilitation center for cannabis and ketamine abuse. He had been on antipsychotic drugs during his stay.
When he relapsed in July, he placed a towel over his head and inhaled deodorant spray to get high, in the absence of other drugs.
The sequence of events that followed was a period of hyperactivity, followed by a stop in the blood flow and eventually a cardiac arrest.
Consequently, he was admitted to a hospital, where he was put in a medically induced coma because the staff failed to revive him. Nine days later, when the doctors withdrew care, the boy died.
According to Dr. Kelvin Harvey Kramp of Maastad Hospital in Rotterdam,
"The patient did not have enough brain function to sustain life."
The doctor shared three possible theories about the cause of the cardiac arrest.
First, it could have been caused by the over-sensitivity that might have resulted from the inhalant. Second, the inhalant might have caused spasm of the coronary arteries and third, the hyperactivity might have been the man experiencing a ‘scary hallucination’.
Dr Kramp added that the toxic chemical, butane, often used in sprayable household products, has a similar effect to alcohol, giving the abusers feelings of ‘euphoria and disinhibition’.
While the case is rare, it throws light on the fatal consequences of inhaling such easily available chemicals such as deodorants, paint thinners and whiteners, among many others.
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