Percutaneous ethyl alcohol intoxication in a one-month-old infant

Pediatr Emerg Care. 1991 Dec;7(6):343-4. doi: 10.1097/00006565-199112000-00005.


A one-month-old child was referred to our hospital for unexplained lethargy. She was found to be intoxicated from ethanol-soaked gauze pads which had been applied to the umbilical stump and contiguous skin for several days for the purpose of promoting umbilical cord detachment. We emphasize the importance of considering the risk of percutaneous alcohol absorption, especially in young infants, and the necessity of toxicology screening in every child with drowsiness of unknown etiology.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / diagnosis
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / etiology*
  • Bandages
  • Ethanol / pharmacokinetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Skin Absorption*
  • Umbilical Cord / metabolism*


  • Ethanol