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DUI: Inhalants

Facts about inhalants, specifically difluoroethane, pertaining to toxicology

QuestionAnswer
What is difluoroethane? An alternative fluorocarbon found in aerosols (i.e. DustOff)
What are some signs of inhalant use? Residue around nose or mouth. Huffer's rash. Nausea. Watery, bloodshot eyes. Intense headaches.
What are the routes of administration for inhalants? Sniffing or snorting (direct inhalation) Huffing (inhale from saturated rag) Bagging (inhale from product sprayed in bag)
Describe the toxicity of inhalants. Death is caused by hypoxia, a lack of oxygen to the brain.
What is sudden sniffing syndrome? Fatal cardiac arythmia caused by inhalant use
How should samples be collected? Collect the sample immediately, seal in a headspace vial.
What types of specimens should be collected? Antemortem: blood, urine Postmortem: blood, lung, liver, adipose
What demographics are seen with difluoroethane use? 100% caucasian 71% male Ages 18-47
Hoe long do the effects of difluoroethane last? The effects have a rapid onset and short duration. The user may not appear impaired by the time of arrest.
Describe the elimination of difluoroethane. Elimination by the 2 compartment model. Fast elimination from the blood followed by a slower elimination from the adipose tissues.
What affect does difluoroethane have on the breath alcohol test? DFE interferes with the breath alcohol test, but alcohol can still be quantified in the tox lab.
Created by: bdcox15
 

 



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