Paul Gee, FACEM, PGCert Clin Tox, Emergency Physician; Elizabeth Martin, MBChB, Senior House Officer.
Toxic cocktail: Methanol poisoning in a tourist to Indonesia
Article first published online: 2 AUG 2012
© 2012 The Authors. EMA © 2012 Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and Australasian Society for Emergency Medicine
Emergency Medicine Australasia
Volume 24, Issue 4, pages 451–453, August 2012
How to Cite
Gee, P. and Martin, E. (2012), Toxic cocktail: Methanol poisoning in a tourist to Indonesia. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 24: 451–453. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-6723.2012.01552.x
- Issue published online: 2 AUG 2012
- Article first published online: 2 AUG 2012
- Accepted 12 February 2012
- visual disturbance
Methanol poisoning has become very uncommon in Australasia with regulations that have reduced its retail availability. This report describes a young tourist who developed sudden onset visual failure and rapid breathing 2 days after ingestion of a complimentary local drink called Arrack when travelling in Indonesia. She presented to a hospital in New Zealand with severe metabolic acidosis and a highly toxic methanol level at 17 mmol/L. The cocktail was consumed at a popular tourist bar but is likely to have been mixed from home-brewed or ‘moonshine’ alcohol tainted with methanol. The aetiology of methanol poisoning, its optic toxicology and therapeutic measures are discussed, as is the concerning number of methanol poisoning cases among tourists to Indonesia over recent years.