Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 103-105

Unexplained neurological events during bathing in young people: Possible association with the use of gas geysers


Department of Neurology, Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana - 141 001, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Gagandeep Singh
Department of Neurology, Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana - 141 001, Punjab
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.41877

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Here, we report sudden, unexplained neurological collapse in 14 young people while bathing with hot water associated with the use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)-based water heaters (gas geysers) in ill-ventilated bathrooms. None of the patients reported any circumstantial evidence of seizures or prior epilepsy. One patient developed cortical blindness and demonstrated posterior leucoencephalopathy on imaging studies. The remaining patients made rapid and excellent recovery without any residual neurological sequelae. In these cases, the results of all routine investigations, i.e., serum chemistry, brain imaging (computed tomography in 2 and magnetic resonance imaging in 10) and electroencephalography were normal. The clinical clustering of these cases in winter months with similar presentations of reversible encephalopathy probably indicates an inhalational toxin exposure. Therefore, we postulate a hypothesis that harmful emissions consisting of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbon gases (HC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), produced by incomplete combustion of LPG might be responsible for the cellular injury and subsequent transient neurological deficits. Physicians should be aware of this entity in order to avoid misdiagnosis of this condition as seizures, and a public awareness should also be created regarding the proper use of these devices.


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