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Asymptomatic benzocaine spray–induced methaemoglobinaemia in preoperative sedation for oesophagogastroduodenoscopy


Methaemoglobinaemia is defined as elevated methaemoglobin in the blood which is characterised by conversion of some of the reduced ferrous iron elements [Fe2+] to the oxidised ferric [Fe3+] form which does not have capacity to bind and transport oxygen resulting in functional anaemia. Causes can be genetic mutations or acquired by medications such as dapsone, nitrates or benzocaine. Benzocaine is currently being used as a topical anaesthetic agent before certain procedures. We report a case of benzocaine spray–induced methaemoglobinaemia in a patient who underwent oesophagogastroduodenoscopy for evaluation of upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

  • Endoscopy
  • Haematology (incl blood transfusion)
  • Adult intensive care
  • Unwanted effects / adverse reactions

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