September 24, 2009

Conn. teen seriously hurt ‘huffing’

A 13-year-old Connecticut boy lost both his hands and suffered serious tissue damage when he purposefully inhaled propane gas, police said.

Canton Police Chief Lori Coppinger said the unidentified teenager clearly did not understand the risks associated with inhaling, or huffing, propane gas, which immediately left him with severe frostbite to his eyes, lungs, mouth and throat, The Hartford (Conn.) Courant reported Thursday.

My heart just goes out to that family, to the boy, Coppinger said of the Sept. 8 incident. He didn't understand the ramifications of what he was doing. Hopefully, other kids will become aware of this and not do it.

Coppinger said as a result of his injuries, both of the teen's hands had to be amputated.

An unidentified spokesman for the Connecticut Children's Medical Center said the teen was initially placed in a medically induced coma, but has since recovered and is in good condition.

The Courant said the National Institute on Drug Abuse identifies adolescents between the age of 12 and 17 as the age group most likely to engage in huffing, or inhalant abuse.