A 6 year old girl, who had been taking pain reliever for a sprained ankle, was by mistake given highly concentrated liquid nicotine by her father, reported the Annals of Emergency Medicine.
The girl's parents were both e-cigarette smokers. Her mother had purchased highly concentrated liquid nicotine for the e-cigarettes, diluted it with vegetable glycerin and put it in an empty children's ibuprofen bottle. In faint, handwritten letters, it was labeled "NIC."
Due to the immense pain at the ankle, the 6-year-old girl's father went looking for the children's pain reliever in 2015, and grabbed the concoction from the refrigerator by mistake - and gave his daughter a dangerous dose.
The girl immediately felt a burning sensation in her mouth and throat, according to the case report. The parents realising the mistake, forced the girl to vomit, but the girl lost consciousness and had a seizure. Though the paramedics were immediately called the girl did not respond to their calls.
Medical professionals attended to the case confirmed the health children face as e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine are becoming popular.
Generally, it has become more common, and our concern is that it will continue to do so because there is a greater availability of more highly concentrated nicotine productsMatt Noble, a medical toxicology fellow with the Oregon Poison Center and instructor at the Department of Emergency Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University
With liquid nicotine, however, "the potential for toxicity is relatively unprecedented," he said, noting that it not only comes in high volumes but also is highly concentrated.
The U.S. surgeon general has called the rising use of e-cigarettes among children and young adults a "major public health concern." As The Post's Brady Dennis reported, the number of middle-school and high school students who report having used them has tripled over the past five years, and the number of young adults (ages 18 to 24) has doubled.
Nicotine is a neurotoxin and can have severe effects on young children including loss of consciousness, alteration of breathing, and changes in heart rate and blood pressure. The child who is described in the case report likely survived because of the quick response on the part of the parents to seek care and the excellent care provided in the emergency room and intensive care unitKyran Quinlan, head of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Injury Violence and Poison Prevention
The case study explained that the girl's mother had bought a liter of concentrated unflavored liquid nicotine online and diluted it according to the instructions. Noble, the report's co-author, said the manufacturer's label stated that the bottle contained a nicotine concentration of 60 mg/mL when, in reality, testing suggested it contained a concentration of 140 mg/mL.
The girl, who was not named in the report, was rushed to an emergency room with a decreased heart rate and an inability to properly breathe; doctors had to intubate her. She was vomiting, sweating, drooling and shaking. "Her mental status fluctuated between agitation and unresponsiveness," the researchers wrote in the report.