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What are the symptoms of antifreeze poisoning?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning include breathing difficulties, tiredness, nausea, impaired vision and elevated heart rate, according to MedlinePlus. Poisoned individuals may also experience a decline in urine production, and their lips and fingernails may have a blue tinge. Antifreeze poisoning can result in death.

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Full Answer

Mild to moderate symptoms of antifreeze poisoning include confusion, headaches, giddiness, uncoordinated movements and a decrease in consciousness within the first 12 hours of ingestion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At a later stage, the individual may experience erratic heart rhythms as well as deep or rapid breathing.

Severe symptoms of antifreeze poisoning may cause an individual to convulse, lose consciousness or lapse into a coma, states the CDC. As the condition worsens, the accumulation of toxins can cause hyperventilation as well as damage to the heart and lungs. The individual may experience kidney failure and cease to produce urine.

If antifreeze comes into contact with the eyes, it can cause inflammation, and it can injure the conjunctiva and cornea. Antifreeze can irritate the skin. If an individual inhales antifreeze vapors, it can aggravate the mucous membranes and cause respiratory problems.

Immediate medical attention is very important in the event of antifreeze poisoning, as it has serious and potentially fatal consequences, advises MedlinePlus.

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