Ethyl alcohol is also known as ethanol pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol. It is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. Ethyl alcohol is one of the oldest recreational drugs. Ethyl alcohol is the most extensively used drug all over world. Ethanol use is thought to date back to pre-history where it would have been produced by the natural fermentation of sugars in fruits. Ethanol is not only popular for its sedative effect but for the sense of happiness that it offer at low doses. This may be due to the reason that low doses of ethanol sedate the parts of the brain involved with tension and anxiety and in this way produce a sense of joy. Nevertheless, higher doses demoralize brain centers involved in vital functions as pain sensation, coordination, and balance. Ethanol is often used in medicine as an antidote to fight the effects of some other kinds of drugs. Ethyl alcohol must only be used under the supervision of a doctor.
What are the properties of Ethyl alcohol?
• The molecular formula of Ethyl alcohol is C2H6O.
• It burns with a smokeless blue flame that is not constantly visible in normal light.
• The physical properties of ethanol shoot mainly from the existence of its hydroxyl group and the shortness of its carbon chain.
• Ethanol is a versatile solvent, miscible with water and with many organic solvents, such as, acetic acid, acetone, benzene, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, diethyl ether, ethylene glycol.
What are some therapeutic uses of Ethanol?
As an antiseptic: Pharmacy grade alcohol, pharmaceutical ethanol or disinfectant ethanol is used in medical wipes and in most common antibacterial hand sanitizer gels at a concentration of about 62% (percentage by volume, not weight) as an antiseptic. Ethanol kills organisms by denaturing their proteins and dissolving their lipids and is effective against most bacteria and fungi, and several viruses. Ethanol-based hand sanitizers (EBHSs) are used in most health care facilities in the United States.
For fighting IV based infections: More than 200 million intravascular devices (IV’s) are used in hospitals, clinics and outpatient settings today. Although health care staff who insert them wear sterile gloves and swab patient skin with disinfectant, each year, about 500,000 patients develop an associated bloodstream infection. A new approach for patients with intravascular catheters is a every day "rinse cycle" with a 25- to 50-percent solution of ethyl alcohol or medical-grade ethanol. The Medical School's infectious diseases section confirms that they fill each lumen of the catheter with the ethanol solution and then cap it off. It is then allowed to sit there for an hour, rapidly killing any germs that have insidiously gained access. Then, by simply pulling it back out and reattaching the IV fluids, intravenous nutrition or intravenous medications the risk of bloodstream infection caused by germs that may have gained access in the previous 24 hours has been effectively eliminated. This ethanol "lock" took nearly a decade of research and more recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prefer alcohol-based solutions over iodine-based disinfectants for killing germs.
As an anti-dote: Ethyl alcohol works as an anti-dote against poisoning from toxic alcohols such as methanol and ethylene glycol.
A new examination published by researchers at Boston University Medical Center suggests that ethanol use, even during levels believed “hazardous” section reduces a risk for coronary heart disease. A study of more than 40,000 people by the Cancer Research Center in Honolulu found that persons with moderate alcohol intake appear to have a significantly lower risk of dying than nondrinkers. On the other hand, researchers also point out a rate of accidents, self-murder and other diseases associated with complicated alcohol.
Rubbing denatured ethyl alcohol is used to sterilize skin before injections and to sterilize medical equipments prior to minor medical procedures such as removing a splinter with tweezers or opening and draining a blister.
Rubbing alcohol is also used to relieve joint and muscle pain.
A clear, colorless ethanol is quickly absorbed into the gastrointestinal tract and distributed all over the body. It has bactericidal activity and is used often as a topical disinfectant.
Ethanol is extensively used as a solvent and preservative in pharmaceutical preparations.
What is Medical ethanol testing?
The ethanol test is used for medical purposes. The objective of medical testing is to find out the presence of alcohol in order to effectively treat the intoxicated person's symptoms. For medical uses, blood, and at times urine, alcohol tests are used to detect the presence of ethanol and to assess its concentration. One or more of these tests may be ordered when a patient comes to the Emergency Room with symptoms suggesting ethanol toxicity. Additional drug testing and testing for the presence of other more toxic alcohols (such as methanol and isopropyl alcohol) may also be performed, if the use of other substances is suspected. For medical testing, the detection of ethanol in a sample indicates that a person has likely been drinking, and the concentration present can give an indication of how severe the degree of ethanol toxicity is. Symptoms and complications may vary significantly from person to person, however, depending on the individual's general health, age, and other medications or drugs that he or she is taking. The ability to clear the alcohol out of the body also depends on the availability of the necessary enzymes and the functioning of the person's liver.
When is Medical ethanol testing ordered?
Medical ethanoltesting is ordered when a person has symptoms that indicates intoxication and or ethanoltoxicity. Symptoms are: