Vinegar poisoning: first signs

Last reviewed by: Aleksey Portnov , medical expert, on 08.11.2018

Today, poisoning with various substances happens quite often. At the same time, poisonings are more often observed, which do not occur as a result of exposure to potent toxins and poisons, but as a result of the ingestion of household substances, which at first glance are very harmless. The most vivid example of this is poisoning with vinegar. It is a substance that is used by a person in a domestic setting. Used for conservation, added to food, used for cleaning premises. Nevertheless, it carries a huge danger.


Every year, approximately every 15 people on the planet are poisoned with vinegar. At the same time, 41% of people are easily poisoned, about 54% of people undergo severe pathologies (lungs often fail). And 5% of people die from poisoning. It is known that 97% of intoxications manifest immediately, 3% feel poison after 7-10 days or more. Chronic poisoning in 60% of cases are observed in people who, due to their professional duties, are constantly in contact with vinegar.

Causes of the poisoning with vinegar

The causes of poisoning can be many, but most importantly they all have common motives and prerequisites. In general, all the reasons for poisoning can be grouped into three categories rather arbitrarily. Poisoning can happen in production. This is usually facilitated by a careless, irresponsible attitude to their duties, neglect of safety techniques. Always remember that when working with vinegar (as well as with acetic acid, acetic acid, their derivatives), you must comply with a number of requirements.

It is important to use only serviceable equipment. Depending on the operating conditions, accessories designed specifically for protection may also be required. It is important to conduct regular inspections of working equipment, inventory, planned and unscheduled consultations for employees dealing with vinegar. This is important, since not only the person is exposed to poisoning, but environmental pollution also increases.

The second group of reasons include various household poisonings, which happen to people who are different inattention, incorrect storage of vinegar, excess dosage. The greatest danger of this type of poisoning is determined by the fact that children can be poisoned, especially when the parents left vinegar unattended or hid it not far enough. The reason is the natural curiosity of the child and the curiosity of the child, which forces him to try, to use various unfamiliar substances inside him.

Often women are hunted during harvesting, inhaling vinegar vapors. In this case, it is important to comply with the same requirements as in the work environment. A vaginally-gauze bandage, a pharmacy mask will serve as a reliable remedy. Finally, the usual excessive addition of vinegar to food, preservation, can cause poisoning. There are also cases when, with the addition of vinegar, it is mistakenly confused with other liquids by drinking it.

Finally, the last group is the commission of suicidal intentions. Also often such a method of poisoning is chosen by the female part of the population who decided to take their lives.

Risk factors

The risk group includes those people who are in contact with vinegar: at home, at work. At the same time, the more irresponsible the person refers to the handling of this substance, the more dangerous the consequences may be. People who have deviant or suicidal behavior, mental disorders prone to depression and apathy are also at risk, as they most often use vinegar for the purpose of committing suicide.

Also risk children, whose parents do not hide vinegar in a safe place, leave it together with other food products and liquids. Finally, at-risk groups include inattentive, forgetful and absent-minded people who can erroneously add to food or drink vinegar, exceed the dosage.


Pathogenesis is associated with imbalance of water-salt and alkaline balance. There are all the signs of acute intoxication of the body, which sharply increases the pulse, shortness of breath, a person lacks oxygen, suffocating. Gastric bleeding may occur, especially if a person has chronic gastritis, colitis, or other gastrointestinal disease. In a more severe form, paralysis of the respiratory musculature can develop, as a result of which there is a strong edema of the lungs and bronchi. Ultimately, hypoglycemic shock can develop.

The most intensely pathological process occurs in the blood of a person, which leads to anemia. There is an intensive loss of oxygen. This leads to an oxygen starvation of the whole body, the brain does not get the required amount of oxygen, the internal organs are exposed to hypoxia and hypercapnia.

Symptoms of the poisoning with vinegar

The degree of symptomatology depends on the severity of the poisoning, the amount of vinegar that gets inside. First of all, there is a sharp pain and a chemical burn develops. Struck stomach, intestines, esophagus, which is accompanied by a dyspeptic syndrome.

Violated blood circulation, which is accompanied by blue skin, sharp dizziness, headache. Such a condition can progress up to asphyxia or loss of consciousness to the affected.

The first sign is strong pain, which is a reaction to tissue damage by toxins that have fallen on the mucous membrane. Redness develops, a strong swelling of the tissue. In this case, the body drastically loses fluid. A person has a feeling of dryness, tightness of the skin and mucous membranes, as a result of which the pain only intensifies. Gradually begins peeling of the skin. In severe lesions, dying of the mucous membrane may occur, and its death will begin.

Usually, edema appears not only on the mucous membranes, but also on the lips, corners of the mouth, in the mouth. If vinegar gets through the mouth, oskoma may develop, teeth become yellow or gray in color, small sores or erosions in the mouth may appear, lips may crack. Gradually, as the absorption of vinegar by the tissues takes place, the pathology is only aggravated, the pain is aggravated, the tissues become swollen. Dyspeptic syndrome develops. Another characteristic feature is the appearance of a sharp odor from the mouth, in the throat. With palpation, soreness increases. Gradually the pain extends to the entire esophagus, covers the stomach, intestines. There may be a bleeding. With a tendency to allergic reactions, an emergency condition, anaphylactic, glycemic shock, severe hemorrhage, loss of consciousness can develop.

How much should you drink vinegar for poisoning? Everything depends on the individual sensitivity of the body. But in general, 50 ml of the active substance is enough to develop dangerous symptoms, up to a lethal outcome.

Acetic acid poisoning

Acetic acid is more concentrated than vinegar, respectively, poisoning occurs more quickly, and the consequences of it are more dangerous for humans. Help must be given immediately. Symptoms are no different from acetic poisoning. A characteristic feature is that during poisoning, both local and systemic effects on the body are manifested. The general situation takes place when the substance is absorbed inside. A local manifestation develops if a large amount of acetic acid has got on the skin, or if it gets on the mucous membrane. A chemical burn develops, pathological phenomena progress, the resorptive effect develops. It is dangerous because it can lead to more serious pathologies.

First aid should be given immediately as soon as the first signs of the disease appear. It is necessary to withdraw the poisonous substance outside, neutralize it. Carry out the procedure for at least 6 hours. Otherwise, it will not have any effect, since the acid has the property of being absorbed for a sufficiently long time.

After the stomach is completely washed, you can proceed to symptomatic therapy. Everything is now determined by those symptoms that bother the person.

Poisoning with vinegar, as well as acetic acid, requires mandatory rehabilitation. In the course of restorative therapy, antibiotic therapy, antihistamines, antiallergic, and hormonal agents may be required. In order to prevent more serious complications, laser irradiation of the esophagus walls is applied, hormonal preparations are administered. This helps to prevent stenosis and bleeding.

Vinegar vapors poisoning

When inhaled vinegar vapors may occur as acute poisoning, or chronic. In this case, acute, most often due to a one-time inhalation of a large number of vapors. Or inhalation for several minutes, hours of a certain concentration of this substance. Chronic poisoning develops with regular, systematic inhalation of fumes, over a long period of time - from several months to several years. Most often it is work in production, in the laboratory. Chronic disease is most often an occupational disease of people working with vinegar.

To recognize the poisoning in pairs in the early stages can be by external signs: a person has a violation of perception, distorted smells, taste sensations. Also develops headache, mild dizziness, nausea, pain in the temples and behind the breastbone, heart rate increases. Breathing becomes more frequent, it becomes superficial. There is a sense of lack of air. There may be a feeling of heat, or vice versa, cold, trembling, slight tremor. When burns there is a burning sensation, pain, slight redness.

At this time, the patient needs first aid, as soon as possible, because otherwise the severe stage will come. It can develop dramatically: a person loses consciousness, convulsions, tremors and tremors develop. With chronic poisoning, in which a person inhales vinegar for a long time, the symptomatology grows gradually: there is an increase in temperature, dry mouth, weakness, sometimes - delirium and hallucinations, migraines. On health - a person feels constant drowsiness, weakness, lack of oxygen. According to external manifestations, in the early stages of the clinical picture is similar to exhaustion, fatigue, loss of strength. Only after this, after a week, there are signs of severe intoxication: headache, dizziness, dyspeptic disorders. There are signs of poisoning in the blood.

Poisoning by the smell of vinegar

Usually in such a situation there is a shiver in the body, panic, the pupils become dilated. Major reflexes, swallowing and even respiratory, can be violated. This condition is dangerous because there is a reflex spasm of smooth muscles, as a result of which the innervation and circulation are disturbed. Blood pressure drops sharply, tachycardia occurs. In the blood appears free hemoglobin due to the destruction of erythrocytes, which leads to the appearance of a blue shade of mucous membranes, lips, skin.

Gradually, all metabolism is disrupted, signs of intoxication are increasing. The danger is also that diuresis drastically decreases. This leads to a fluid retention in the body, a violation of salt metabolism. Toxins can not be excreted from the body, continue to exert toxigenic effects. As a result, edema develops, emphysema of the lungs. There is a development of cardiac and respiratory insufficiency, a violation of the heart, the discovery of external and internal bleeding.

In the blood, erythrocytes and other cells are destroyed, the process of coagulation is immediately disrupted. Renal tubules and vessels are clogged with the destroyed hemoglobin. Urine becomes small. Urea, creatinine and other metabolic products circulate in the blood in ever-increasing concentrations. Due to poisoning with these substances and from the disruption of nutrition of tissues, signs of organ damage gradually appear. The defeat of the central nervous system, liver, kidneys, heart can become critical and result in a fatal outcome.

Thus, poisoning with vinegar can be fatal. Therefore, you should carefully handle this product in a domestic environment, and comply with safety regulations when working on an industrial scale.

On poisoning with table and apple cider vinegar, read this article .

Poisoning child with vinegar

In general, poisoning with vinegar in a child proceeds in the same way as in an adult. The only difference is that intoxication grows faster, the risk of complications and concomitant pathologies is much higher than that of an adult. Mandatory hospitalization is required. The first help should be given as soon as possible. First, the gastric lavage is performed, neutralizing the poison, after which the stabilization of the condition and the subsequent restorative therapy begin.

Complications and consequences

The consequences of poisoning with vinegar can be the most unpredictable. In many ways, they depend on the state of the human body, on the level of its endurance and resistance, natural immunity. There are complications in the heart, especially in people with SSS. The effect can be immediate or delayed.

Diagnostics of the poisoning with vinegar

Poisoning is fairly easy to recognize by the clinical picture. The diagnosis can be made on the basis of a survey and examination of the patient, an analysis of the history of the disease. Immediately, there are two main symptoms of poisoning - local and resorptive. The essence of local defeat lies in the fact that those tissues that are directly exposed to vinegar are damaged. Vomiting, diarrhea, and often with blood impurities are often observed. There are digestive disorders, lack of appetite. In the area of the esophagus, oral cavity and pharynx, there are spotting.

Gradually, as the substance is absorbed, a resorptive effect develops, at which the systemic lesions develop, metabolic processes, function and even the blood formula are disrupted. To diagnose systemic changes, laboratory tests are prescribed. In the presence of damage to tissues and organs (both primary and secondary origin), various pathological processes develop which can be established using instrumental methods of investigation. For example, when ingesting a poisonous dose of vinegar, it is advisable to conduct endoscopic examination of the gastrointestinal tract to assess the extent of damage to the mucosa and other layers.


First of all, blood is taken for a biochemical, clinical study. Vinegar poisoning can easily be diagnosed by a large amount of free hemoglobin in the blood, because under the influence of vinegar, intensive hemolysis of erythrocytes occurs. The body loses oxygen, and carbon dioxide and metabolic products cease to appear outside. Skin and mucous become blue. There is cyanosis, which contributes to the disruption of the heart, kidneys and liver.

The morphology of erythrocytes also varies with poisoning. Often during a clinical blood test, a swab is done immediately. If such a smear is not done, it can be done additionally to the basic analysis. To do this, in a laboratory make a normal blood smear on glassware. The smear is prepared on the basis of staining according to the method of Romanovsky-Giemsa. Then, under the microscope, the morphological features of erythrocytes and other blood elements are studied.

When poisoning, strong intoxication, appears basophilic granularity of erythrocytes, in which they acquire a blue tint. Similar erythrocytes can also be observed in thalassemia, various types of anemia. The number of leukocytes can significantly increase with acid poisoning, and a shift in the blood formula can also occur.

Some changes can be observed in the clinical analysis of urine. For example, various impurities and precipitates may appear. To determine the poison, carry out toxicology.

An important diagnostic test is the determination of iron in the blood serum. The normal iron content in the Henry test is 13 to 30 μmol / L. When hemolysis, signs of anemia are observed, as a result of which the level of iron decreases to 1.8-5.4 μmol / l.

Instrumental diagnostics

It is carried out with lesions of internal organs, the presence of accompanying pathologies and their signs. For example, if vinegar gets inside, it may cause chemical damage (burn) to the esophagus and stomach. In order to determine the extent of the lesion and the nature of the pathology, its localization, gastroscopy is performed, in which a gastroscopic probe is inserted into the stomach and it is used to examine the walls and mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract.

Ultrasound may also be required, which will make it possible to assess the condition of the organ under investigation, to track the main processes in dynamics, approximately to predict the further course of the development of the pathological process. A very informative method of research is computer and magnetic resonance imaging, with the help of which it is possible to determine and study the condition of internal organs, bone system and even soft tissues.

Differential diagnosis

Differential diagnostics may be required in order to determine which substance the person has poisoned. This will allow you to choose the optimal treatment as accurately as possible and effectively provide first aid. Differential diagnosis is based on a toxicological study that allows you to discover the name and amount of the active substance that caused the poisoning. If it is impossible to identify the obvious cause of intoxication, it is necessary to exclude rare diseases.

Treatment of the poisoning with vinegar

Details about the treatment of poisoning with vinegar read in this article .


In order to ensure reliable prevention of poisoning, it is necessary to follow the rules for the use of food acids, vinegar, other toxic products. It is necessary to hide the vinegar securely from children. When preparing dishes, preservations, marinades, you must strictly follow the dosage and concentration of vinegar.


If timely measures are taken and the first aid is properly provided to a person, the prognosis may be favorable. Poisoning with vinegar requires additional restorative treatment aimed at eliminating the effects of poisoning. If you do not provide first aid, and do not carry out the necessary treatment, the prognosis may be unfavorable, up to a lethal outcome.

It is important to know!

Natural vinegar based on fruit acids - it is almost universal and unique tool that is used in alternative medicine and in cosmetology. Quality vinegar is obtained in a natural way: by fermentation with the involvement of oxygen and acetic acid. Read more..

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