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Toxicity of Food Drug and Cosmetic Blue No. 1 Dye in Critically Ill Patients*

Maria R. Lucarelli; Mary Beth Shirk; Mark W. Julian; Elliott D. Crouser
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*From the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (Dr. Lucarelli), Department of Pharmacy (Dr. Shirk), The Dorothy M. Davis Heart & Lung Research Institute (Mr. Julian and Dr. Crouser), The Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH.

Correspondence to: Elliott D. Crouser, MD, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, The Ohio State University Medical Center, 201F Dorothy M. Davis Heart & Lung Research Institute, 473 West Twelfth Ave, Columbus, OH 43210-1252; e-mail: crouser-1@medctr.osu.edu



Chest. 2004;125(2):793-795. doi:10.1378/chest.125.2.793
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Food Drug and Cosmetic Blue No. 1 dye (FD&C Blue No. 1) is commonly added to enteral nutrition formulations in order to facilitate the detection of gastric aspirate in tracheal secretions of critically ill patients. However, reports of systemic blue dye absorption and associated adverse outcomes are emerging. We report two cases of abnormal systemic absorption of FD&C Blue No. 1 in critically ill patients who subsequently died of refractory shock and metabolic acidosis. Risk factors and mechanisms of FD&C Blue No. 1 toxicity are discussed, and alternate approaches to gastric aspiration detection in critically ill patients are considered.

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