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    Methanol test

    Methanol is atoxic type of alcohol used for industrial and automotive purposes. It is not found in alcoholic beverages. It is sometimes called "wood alcohol."

    A test can be done to measure the amount of methanol in your blood.

    See also: Methanol poisoning

    How the Test is Performed

    A blood sample is needed. For information on how this is done, see: Venipuncture

    How to Prepare for the Test

    No special preparation is necessary.

    How the Test Will Feel

    When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.

    Why the Test is Performed

    This test is done to see if you have methanol in your body. You should not drink methanol. However, some people accidentally drink methanol, ordrink it on purposeas a substitute for grain alcohol (ethanol).

    Methanol is extremely poisonous. As little as 2 tablespoons can be deadly to a child. About 2 to 8 ounces can be deadly for an adult. Methanol poisoning mainly affects the gastrointestinal, nervous, and ophthalmological (eye) systems.

    Normal Results

    No presence of methanol is normal.

    What Abnormal Results Mean

    No amount of methanol is normally found in the body. Its presence indicates possible poisoning.

    Risks

    Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.

    Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:

    • Excessive bleeding
    • Fainting or feeling lightheaded
    • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
    • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

    References

    Ford MD. Acute poisoning. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds.Cecil Medicine. 24th ed.Philadelphia,PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 110.

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          Tests for Methanol test

          Review Date: 11/17/2011

          Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

          The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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          St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
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