CAS RN: 107-02-8

Treatment Overview

  • A) MUCOSAL DECONTAMINATION: If no respiratory compromise is present, administer milk or water as soon as possible after ingestion. The exact ideal amount is unknown; no more than 8 ounces (240 mL) in adults and 4 ounces (120 mL) in children is recommended to minimize the risk of vomiting. Patients should not be forced to drink after ingestion of an acid, nor should they be allowed to drink larger volumes since this may induce vomiting, and thereby re-exposure of the injured tissues to the corrosive acid. Dilution may only be helpful if performed in the first seconds to minutes after ingestion.
  • B) GASTRIC DECONTAMINATION: Ipecac contraindicated. Activated charcoal is not recommended as it may interfere with endoscopy and will not reduce injury to GI mucosa. Consider insertion of a small, flexible nasogastric or orogastric tube to suction gastric contents after recent large ingestion of a strong acid; the risk of further mucosal injury or iatrogenic esophageal perforation must be weighed against potential benefits of removing any remaining acid from the stomach.
  • C) GASTRIC LAVAGE: Consider after ingestion of a potentially life-threatening amount of poison if it can be performed soon after ingestion (generally within 1 hour). Protect airway by placement in the head down left lateral decubitus position or by endotracheal intubation. Control any seizures first.
    • 1) CONTRAINDICATIONS: Loss of airway protective reflexes or decreased level of consciousness in unintubated patients; following ingestion of corrosives; hydrocarbons (high aspiration potential); patients at risk of hemorrhage or gastrointestinal perforation; and trivial or non-toxic ingestion.
  • D) Activated charcoal is of unproven benefit for attempting to decrease acrolein absorption following ingestion and can obscure endoscopic findings in patients with severe GI tract irritation or burns. Routine use is NOT recommended.
  • E) Observe patients with ingestion carefully for the possible development of esophageal or gastrointestinal tract irritation or burns. If signs or symptoms of esophageal irritation or burns are present, consider endoscopy to determine the extent of injury.
  • F) Treatment should include recommendations listed in the INHALATION EXPOSURE section when appropriate.
  • A) The primary toxic effects involve irritation of the mucous membranes, eyes, and lungs. In severe cases, treatment of acute lung injury is of paramount importance. Acute lung injury may be delayed in onset by several hours.
  • B) If bronchospasm and wheezing occur, consider treatment with inhaled sympathomimetic agents.
  • C) ACUTE LUNG INJURY: Maintain ventilation and oxygenation and evaluate with frequent arterial blood gases and/or pulse oximetry monitoring. Early use of PEEP and mechanical ventilation may be needed.
  • A) DECONTAMINATION: Remove contact lenses and irrigate exposed eyes with copious amounts of room temperature 0.9% saline or water for at least 15 minutes. If irritation, pain, swelling, lacrimation, or photophobia persist after 15 minutes of irrigation, the patient should be seen in a healthcare facility.
    • 1) DECONTAMINATION: Remove contaminated clothing and jewelry and place them in plastic bags. Wash exposed areas with soap and water for 10 to 15 minutes with gentle sponging to avoid skin breakdown. A physician may need to examine the area if irritation or pain persists (Burgess et al, 1999).
    • 2) Treat dermal irritation or burns with standard topical therapy. Patients developing dermal hypersensitivity reactions may require treatment with systemic or topical corticosteroids or antihistamines.
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