Survival of acute hypernatremia due to massive soy sauce ingestion

J Emerg Med. 2013 Aug;45(2):228-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2012.11.109. Epub 2013 Jun 2.


Background: Intentional massive sodium chloride ingestions are rare occurrences and are often fatal.

Objectives: There are a variety of treatment recommendations for hypernatremia, ranging from dialysis to varying rates of correction. We report a case of acute severe hypernatremia corrected with rapid free-water infusions that, to our knowledge, has not been previously reported.

Case report: A 19-year-old man presented to the Emergency Department in a comatose state with seizure-like activity 2 hours after ingesting a quart of soy sauce. He was administered 6 L of free water over 30 min and survived neurologically intact without clinical sequelae. Corrected for hyperglycemia, the patient's peak serum sodium was 196 mmol/L, which, to our knowledge, is the highest documented level in an adult patient to survive an acute sodium ingestion without neurologic deficits.

Conclusion: Emergency physicians should consider rapidly lowering serum sodium with hypotonic intravenous fluids as a potential management strategy for acute severe hypernatremia secondary to massive salt ingestion.

Keywords: acute hypernatremia; hypotonic fluids; resuscitation; sodium chloride.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Humans
  • Hypernatremia / chemically induced*
  • Male
  • Sodium, Dietary / poisoning*
  • Soy Foods / poisoning*
  • Young Adult


  • Sodium, Dietary