Coma in a 20-month-old child from an ingestion of a toy containing 1,4-butanediol, a precursor of γ-hydroxybutyrate

Laura A. Ortmann, Matthew W. Jaeger, Laura P. James, Steve M. Schexnayder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Ingestion of plastic toys is common in children and usually does not result in harm. We report a case of coma in a 20-month-old child after an ingestion of a toy containing 1,4-butanediol, an industrial solvent used to manufacture plastics. When ingested, 1,4-butanediol is metabolized to γ- hydroxybutyrate, which can have significant systemic effects including death. Health care providers should suspect the possibility of a toxic component when a presumed nontoxic object causes unusual symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)758-760
Number of pages3
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009



  • 1,4-butanediol
  • F-hydroxybutyrate
  • Ingestion
  • Toxicology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine

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