Which medications in the drug class Alkalinizing Agents are used in the treatment of Smoke Inhalation Injury?

Updated: Oct 15, 2021
  • Author: Keith A Lafferty, MD; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Alkalinizing Agents

These agents are indicated for topical treatment of patients who have experienced cutaneous exposure to sulfur trioxide or titanium tetrachloride.

Sodium bicarbonate

Rinse affected skin thoroughly before applying sodium bicarbonate solution. Potential exists for exothermic reaction (burns) whenever a base is mixed with an acid; therefore, after titanium chloride or sulfur trioxide exposure, rinse affected skin thoroughly and copiously with water or saline.

Pharmacists at Walter Reed Medical Center recommend using a 5% solution of sodium bicarbonate to rinse over the affected area, followed by rinsing copiously with water or saline. The author believes that copious irrigation alone with water or saline should be sufficient, along with proper wound care, rather than introducing another chemical onto an already irritated area of skin.

Nebulized sodium bicarbonate may be helpful in cases of chlorine gas inhalation. It should not be used for inhalation of other gases.

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