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Patient Saf Surg. 2014 May 13;8:22. doi: 10.1186/1754-9493-8-22. eCollection 2014.

Current concepts for oil decontamination of crush injuries: a review.

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  • 1Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 630 W. 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA.
  • 2Department of Dermatology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Anschutz Campus, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.
  • 3Department of Dermatology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Anschutz Campus, Aurora, CO 80045, USA ; Dermatology Service, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 1055 Clermont Street, Box 165, Denver, CO, USA ; Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.
  • 4Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Denver Health Medical Center, 777 Bannock Street, Denver, CO 80204, USA.

Abstract

This anecdotal, non-systematic review serves to explore the principles and methods of effective oil decontamination from cutaneous wounds, particularly crush injuries. The current expansion of the petroleum industry is necessary to meet increasing world demands for oil. Most stages of oil refining and applications involve significant injury risks, particularly for crush injuries that become contaminated with petroleum compounds. A literature review regarding a standard of care for effective cutaneous oil decontamination is lacking. Based on case reports, animal models, and in vitro studies identified in our expert opinion review, standard water and soap cleansing may not be an appropriate approach. Instead, the principle of 'like dissolves like' guides the use of lipophilic, petroleum-derived solvents to attract and subsequently dissolve the petroleum contaminant from the skin injury. Limitations include paucity of and dated literature sources regarding the topic as well as no models specifically addressing crush injuries. Our literature review found that oil decontamination of cutaneous injuries may be best accomplished with oil-based cleansers. Certainly, this topic has significant importance for the potentially carcinogenic petroleum compounds that pervade virtually every aspect of modern human life.

KEYWORDS:

Crush injuries; Cutaneous wound; Dermatology; Like dissolves like; Lipophilic; Petroleum; Skin decontamination; Solvent

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