Article

Severe Methemoglobinemia complicating topical benzocaine use during endoscopy in a toddler: A case report and review of the literature

Oklahoma State University - Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.3). 05/2006; 117(4):e806-9. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2005-1952
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Severe methemoglobinemia resulting from the use of topical benzocaine has been reported in adults as a rare complication. Here we report a case of severe acquired methemoglobinemia resulting from topical use of benzocaine spray during diagnostic upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in a 3-year-old boy with repeated episodes of hematemesis 3 weeks posttonsillectomy. He developed marked cyanosis and became increasingly agitated immediately after completion of his unremarkable endoscopic procedure, which was performed under intravenous sedation. He did not respond to maximum supplemental oxygen and had increased respiratory effort. His pulse oximetry dropped to 85%, but simultaneous arterial blood-gas analysis showed marked hypoxemia (Po2 = 29%) and severe methemoglobinemia (methemoglobin = 39%). His cyanosis and altered mental status promptly resolved after intravenous administration of methylene blue. In patients with methemoglobinemia, pulse oximetry tends to overestimate the actual oxygen saturation and is not entirely reliable. Posttonsillectomy bleeding is a rare but occasionally serious complication that could occur weeks after the surgery, although it more commonly occurs within the first few days. Physicians should remain aware of the possibility of its late onset. This case illustrates the severity of acquired methemoglobinemia that may result from even small doses of topical benzocaine and highlights the fact that prompt treatment of the disorder can be life saving. We question the rationale for routine use of topical anesthetic spray for sedated upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in children. By bringing the attention of pediatricians to this rare but serious complication, we hope that it will result in its improved recognition and possible prevention.

0 Followers
 · 
60 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We report the case of a full-term neonate who presented with cyanosis from birth secondary to methemoglobinemia precipitated by the obstetric use of bupivacaine in a spinal anaesthetic for caesarean delivery.
    Journal of perinatology: official journal of the California Perinatal Association 11/2013; 33(11):903-4. DOI:10.1038/jp.2013.74 · 2.35 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Methemoglobinemia is a disorder characterized by the presence of a higher than normal level of methemoglobin. Prilocaine which is one of the oxidizing local anaesthetics is widely used in many local procedures. The first choice of treatment of complications due to the use of these local anaesthetics is methylene blue, while ascorbic acid is the alternative choice. The side effects of metilen blue restrict its usage in some special conditions. Ascorbic acid is a good alternative drug with limited experience in methemoglobinemia. We present a case of a methemoglobinemia treated with ascorbic acid successfully to emphasize the use of ascorbic acid as an alternative method.
    12/2013; 15(12):e12718. DOI:10.5812/ircmj.12718
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of topical lidocaine as an adjuvant drug to sedatives in children and adolescents undergoing digestive endoscopies. METHODS: 80 patients (49 females and 31 males, 12±3 years old) were randomly allocated into placebo (n=40) or lidocaine group (n=40). One patient was excluded from each group after allocation. Two puffs of either 10% lidocaine or placebo (tannic acid 0.5%) were sprayed into the oropharynx before the infusion of propofol. Patients were monitored during the procedure and answered a questionnaire after the procedure to evaluate sore throat and the medicine used as pre-medication. The primary outcome measure was propofol dose. Time spent in the procedure room, in the procedure and the incidence of complications were secondary outcome measures. RESULTS: Demographic data (age, sex and endoscopy indication) were evenly distributed in each group. The dose of propofol was not different between patients and controls (placebo group 3.1±1.1 and lidocaine group 2.9±1.3mg/kg; p=0.69), even considering the total dose (p=0.33). The time spent in the procedure room was longer for the placebo group than for the lidocaine group (23±7 versus 20±5 minutes; 95%CI of the difference: 0.47-5.89 minutes, p=0.02). There was no difference between groups regarding procedure duration, complications incidence and tolerability. CONCLUSIONS: Topic anesthetic medication reduces the time spent in the procedure room without increasing the incidence of side effects (NCT00521703).
    Revista Paulista de Pediatria 12/2009; 27(4):424-429.