Accidental hydrofluoric acid (HF) splashes often occur in industrial settings. HF easily penetrates into tissues by initial acid action allowing fluoride ions to penetrate deeply, chelating calcium and magnesium. Resultant hypocalcemia and hypomagnesemia can be fatal. This report describes the utilization of Hexafluorine--a hypertonic, amphoteric, chelating decontamination solution--in workplaces where water decontamination followed by calcium gluconate inunction failed to prevent HF burns and systemic toxicity. Between 1998 and 1999, 16 cases of ocular and dermal HF splashes with either 70% HF or 6% HF/15% nitric acid (HNO3) were decontaminated with Hexafluorine at the worksite. HF burns did not develop and medical treatment other than initial decontamination was not reQuired in 12/16 (75%). In 7/16 (44%) cases, lost work time corresponded to duration of hospital observation (mean
We present clinical and laboratory results (including nuclear imaging) obtained over a period of two years in two nonsmoking miners who were exposed to high concentrations of sulfur dioxide (SO2) after a mine explosion. Within 3 wk of the accident, both miners had evidence of severe airways obstruction, hypoxemia, markedly reduced exercise tolerance, ventilation-perfusion mismatch, and evidence of active inflammation as documented by positive gallium lung scan. Serial ventilation-perfusion scans over the first 12 months showed progressive improvement without returning to normal. After the initial recovery, there has been no significant change over the subsequent two years postinjury. Pulmonary function and exercise tests also displayed a similar pattern of initial improvement. We conclude that (1) acute exposure to high concentrations of SO2 results in severe airways obstruction, (2) pulmonary function abnormalities are partially reversible, and (3) most of the improvement occurs within 12 months after the initial injury.
OBJECTIVE: To review our experience of 9 patients who had attempted suicide by swallowing alkaline substances. DESIGN: Retrospective study. SETTING: Two university hospitals, Finland. PATIENTS: During the years 1987-1996. 9 patients who had swallowed more than 100 ml of strong alkali. RESULTS: 2 patients with oesophagorespiratory fistulas of the four with third degree injuries died in hospital, the first died of overwhelming sepsis and the second of multiple organ failure. The other two survived emergency staged resection and subsequent reconstruction. Delay between swallowing the alkali and the initial operation, and development of oesophagorespiratory fistulas were the most important predictors of death. Four patients with second degree injuries underwent oesophageal resection and reconstruction after they had developed oesophageal strictures. Two of these six survivors developed anastomotic strictures after reconstruction, both of which necessitated repeated oesophageal dilatations. One patient with a first degree injury was treated conservatively. CONCLUSIONS: An early and aggressive approach to severe third degree corrosive injuries of the upper gastrointestinal tract is needed to resect all necrotic tissue and to make it possible to do a successful reconstruction later. The development of oesophagorespiratory fistulas requires immediate attention, whereas first and second degree injuries can be treated after the patient has been stabilized.
The esopagofibroscopy was conducted in 37 children, hospitalized for the chemical burn of esophagus. The substantiation of the treatment tactics in injured persons was permitted due to the method applied for the burn extent and stage determination.