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Can J Surg. 1996 Jun;39(3):205-11.

Chemical burns.

Author information

1
Burn Unit, Hotel Dieu Hospital, Kingston, Ont.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To report a burn unit's experience with chemical burns and to discuss the fundamental principles in managing chemical burns.

DESIGN:

A chart review.

SETTING:

A burn centre at a major university-affiliated hospital.

PATIENTS:

Twenty-four patients with chemical burns, representing 2.6% of all burn admissions over an 8-year period at the Ross Tilley Regional Adult Burn Centre. Seventy-five percent of the burn injuries were work-related accidents. Chemicals involved included hydrofluoric acid, sulfuric acid, black liquor, various lyes, potassium permanganate and phenol.

RESULTS:

Fourteen patients required excision and skin grafting. Complications were frequent and included ocular chemical contacts, wound infections, tendon exposures, toe amputation and systemic reactions from absorption of chemical. One patient died from a chemical scald burn to 98% of the body surface area.

CONCLUSIONS:

The key principles in the management of chemical burns include removal of the chemical, copious irrigation, limited use of antidotes, correct estimation of the extent of injury, identification of systemic toxicity, treatment of ocular contacts and management of chemical inhalation injury. Individualized treatment is emphasized.

PMID:
8640619
PMCID:
PMC3950008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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