What is the initial evaluation and treatment of chemical burns?

Updated: Jan 10, 2018
  • Author: Robert L Sheridan, MD; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, DSc, MSc, AGAF  more...
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Answer

Answer

Treatment of chemical exposures should begin with immediate removal of clothing and chemicals. [30, 31] First responders need to protect themselves from injury. Copious irrigation with tap water should then be performed for at least 30 minutes. Alkaline substances, less soluble in water, often take longer to clear. Consultation with personnel at the poison control center should be considered when evaluating anyone with a chemical burn. Adequate ocular irrigation can be facilitated by topical ocular anesthetics. With larger injuries, fluid resuscitation may be required. Some agents are associated with irritating fumes, which can result in airway compromise.


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