Anti-Brain Freeze

Here’s a little lesson on the poisonous effects of antifreeze for 18-year-old Michael J. Tangney.

In ethylene glycol poisoning, the clinical course is initially characterized by mild symptoms that may gradually develop to produce serious or even fatal toxicity. Ethylene glycol poisoning presents many challenges in making a definitive diagnosis. If treatment is initiated early, prognosis is excellent;however, a disturbing proportion of patients are admitted at a late stage to hospitals that are not capable of performing analysis which identifies ethylene glycol toxicity on a 24-hour basis. Therefore, rapid treatment is often prevented because of a delayed diagnosis, which may result in fatal consequences. The lethal dose of ethylene glycol is usually 1.4-1.6 mL/kg (about 100 mL in an adult), but as little as 30 mL may be fatal.

Do you still think putting antifreeze in your mother’s coffee-maker is a good practical joke? Oh real funny, haw haw haw real funny. You’re lucky you still have someone to call mother who is alive and well.

I can’t even grasp what’s so funny about putting chemicals that are not meant for human consumption into something someone drinks. I mean, they go “eeewww, that tastes weird.” if they notice at all. If they don’t, they drink it…and what satisfaction do you get? The knowledge that you know something they don’t? What’s so funny about that? I don’t get the knee-slapper.

It sounds like this kid is one lucky boy. He could have been going to prison for 6 years, but his parents begged not to send him to prison, so his charges got reduced so it looks like he’s going to get probation. And his mom’s lucky too. After going to hospital, she’s made a full recovery.

I don’t know what I hope for. First I hoped the kid was telling the truth about thinking it was a practical joke, because if he wasn’t, then that makes him into one sick puppy. But if he’s so dumb that he doesn’t know antifreeze is poisonous, I don’t know if that’s such a good thing to hope for either.

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