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Swallowed windshield washer fluid by accident. Can this cause blindness?

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Practicing since : 2003
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My 19 year old nephew swallowed what amounted to 3 or less tablespoons of windshield washer fluid. He ingested it and is feeling better. Is this still enough to make him go blind? He is 5 foot 4 and weighs around 110 lbs.
Posted Fri, 27 Apr 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 55 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.
I would suggest that you take your nephew to the ER immediately so that a complete evaluation can be done and appropriate therapy can be prescribed.
After going through the history, I would like to make the following comments:

1. Windshield washer fluid contains the active ingredient of methanol a poisonous alcohol.

2. For adults, around 4 tablespoon can be XXXXXXX The quantity that you mentioned is less than this.
3. Although blindness is common and often permanent despite medical care, a lot depends on how quick he received medical attention including stomach wash & administration of medicines along with antidote. Also, it is important to know his other blood parameters including biochemical tests.
4. One important piece of information that would help you is by contacting the manufacturers of the windshield washer fluid, you can ascertain if the fluid "was watered-down form of methanol during manufacturing process". If it was watered down, this will mean that there is some chance of good recovery.

I hope I have answered your query. Please do let me know if there are any further queries.
Please accept my answer if there are no further queries.

Wish your nephew a speedy and good health recovery.


Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra
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