After preoperative skin disinfection in pediatric surgery, serum levels of isopropanol up to 12.2 mg/l (MW 5.0 mg/l +/- 3.37, n = 26) were found. They result from a rapid and prolonged but uncharacteristic percutaneous resorption of the isopropanol-containing disinfectant. In about 50% of the cases, serum levels of acetone showed an increase up to 82 mg/l already before skin disinfection, presumably caused by preoperative starvation. After skin disinfection, raised acetone levels were found in 19 of 26 cases. As increased isopropanol and acetone levels are discussed as alcoholism markers, a falsification of congener analysis after skin disinfection, e.g. in cases of adult victims of accidents, has to be taken into consideration. Endogenous serum levels of methanol (0.87 mg/l +/- 0.49), ethanol (0.32 mg/l +/- 0.09), acetaldehyde (0.31 mg/l +/- 0.10) and others remained unaffected. Some uncharacteristic elevations of propanol-1 levels are caused by contaminated rubber caps.
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