Benzocaine-induced methemoglobinemia during an outpatient procedure

Richard L. Wurdeman, Syed M. Mohiuddin, Mark Jeffrey Holmberg, Alaa Shalaby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Outpatient transesophageal echocardiography was performed in a 69-year- old man with a history of aortic valve repair. During the procedure the patient became markedly cyanotic and hypotensive. Oxygen saturation measured by pulse oximetry decreased from 97% to the mid-80s. The man's condition continued to deteriorate. On transfer to a critical care unit, blood analysis by co-oximetry showed methemoglobin saturation of 67.8%. The patient's condition improved significantly after intravenous administration of methylene blue 1 mg/kg. With increasing numbers of outpatient procedures performed under topical anesthesia, measures should be in place to deal with a potential life-threatening adverse event such as methemoglobinemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-738
Number of pages4
Issue number6 I
Publication statusPublished - 2000


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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