For a study, researchers sought to understand that newborns in hospitals very seldom become intoxicated, for example, due to the overuse of alcoholic hand sanitizers. Here, they detail a peculiar incident of acute ethanol intoxications in their Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Their neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) had multiple life-threatening episodes involving hemodynamic compromise, apnea, and lactic acidosis in a 23 0/7-week-old newborn with a birthweight of 580 g. Recovery occurred after a few hours in each case after symptomatic treatment with intravenous fluids and, if necessary, intubation and catecholamine medication. In the end, it was determined that the episodes were caused by severe ethanol intoxications from ethanol-contaminated breast milk. The mother breastfed her baby, but she drank heavily at the advice of a relative so that she might feel stronger and produce more milk. Because she was concerned that her infant wasn’t getting enough nutrition from her breast milk, she also gave her child cow’s milk. The mother admitted to this in intensive conversations with the investigator team and a professional translator. This unusual instance illustrates how cultural factors can contribute to serious complications when caring for premature children. Therefore, we need to emphasize that intensive communication and building a confident relationship with the parents of patients are essential to the work in NICUs.  Even in an environment designed to keep children safe, like the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), parents and medical staff must remain vigilant against the risk of intoxication.

 

Source: bmcpediatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12887-022-03567-w