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Burns. 2015 Mar;41(2):e11-4. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2014.07.007. Epub 2014 Oct 11.

Use of mineral oil Fleet enema for the removal of a large tar burn: a case report.

Author information

1
Firefighters' Burn Unit, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
2
Firefighters' Burn Unit, Winnipeg, MB, Canada; Department of Surgery, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
3
Department of Textile Sciences, Faculty of Human Ecology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
4
Firefighters' Burn Unit, Winnipeg, MB, Canada; Department of Surgery, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada. Electronic address: Logsetty@cc.umanitoba.ca.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Extensive hot tar burns are relatively uncommon. Management of these burns provides a significant clinical challenge especially with respect to tar removal involving a large total body surface area (TBSA), without causing further tissue injury.

METHODS:

We report a case of an over 40-year old male construction worker who was removing a malfunctioning cap from broken valve. This resulted in tar spraying over the anterior surface of his body including legs, feet, chest, abdomen, arms, face and oral cavity (80% TBSA covered in tar resulting in a 50% TBSA burn injury).

RESULTS:

Initially, petrolatum-based, double antibiotic ointment was used to remove the tar, based on our previous experience with small tar burns. However, this was time-consuming and ineffective. The tar was easily removed with mineral oil without irritation. In order to meet the demand for quantity of mineral oil, the pharmacy suggested using mineral oil Fleet enema (C.B. Fleet Company, Inc., Lynchburg, Virginia, USA). The squeezable bottle and catheter tip facilitated administration of oil into the patient's construction boots and under clothing that was adhered to the patient's skin.

CONCLUSIONS:

Tar removal requires an effective, non-toxic and non-irritating agent. Mineral oil is such an agent. For patients that may present with a large surface area tar burn, using mineral oil Fleet enema is a viable option that facilitates application into difficult areas. Grant Support: The Firefighters' Burn Fund (Manitoba) supported this project.

KEYWORDS:

Burn; Injury; Mineral oil; Tar; Work-related

PMID:
25312555
DOI:
10.1016/j.burns.2014.07.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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