DOI: 10.3390/toxics12020139 ISSN: 2305-6304

Benzalkonium Chloride Poisoning in Pediatric Patients: Report of Case with a Severe Clinical Course and Literature Review

Viorela Nițescu, Andreea Lescaie, Dora Boghițoiu, Coriolan Ulmeanu
  • Chemical Health and Safety
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology

The use of disinfectants, particularly those containing quaternary ammonium compounds (QUACs), has dramatically escalated globally since the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. We report a case that highlights the risks associated with ingesting low-concentration QUAC solutions and emphasize the importance of effective management in resolving severe lesions without sequelae. A 17-month-old boy experienced severe respiratory failure after ingesting a disinfectant containing benzalkonium chloride (BAC). The child was initially treated at a local emergency department and was subsequently transferred to a pediatric poison center. Upon evaluation, the child was found to have grade III-A corrosive esophageal lesions and chemical pneumonitis. Several complications, including massive pneumothorax and candidemia, occurred during the clinical course of the disease. However, with timely medical intervention and appropriate supportive care, the patient completely recovered without any long-term sequelae. The properties of BAC and the comprehensive management approach may have been responsible for the patient’s full recovery, despite the potentially life-threatening effects of ingesting disinfectants.

More from our Archive