Nitric Acid

CAS RN: 7697-37-2

Treatment Overview

  • A) Do not induce emesis.
  • B) Significant esophageal or gastrointestinal tract irritation or burns may occur following ingestion. The possible benefit of early removal of some ingested material by cautious gastric lavage must be weighed against potential complications of bleeding or perforation.
  • C) DILUTION: If no respiratory compromise is present, administer milk or water as soon as possible after ingestion. Dilution may only be helpful if performed in the first seconds to minutes after ingestion. The 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.
  • D) 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.
  • E) Steroid use is controversial. Surgical consultation should be obtained if GI tract necrosis or perforation are suspected.
  • F) METHEMOGLOBINEMIA: Determine the methemoglobin concentration and evaluate the patient for clinical effects of methemoglobinemia (ie, dyspnea, headache, fatigue, CNS depression, tachycardia, metabolic acidosis). Treat patients with symptomatic methemoglobinemia with methylene blue (this usually occurs at methemoglobin concentrations above 20% to 30%, but may occur at lower methemoglobin concentrations in patients with anemia, or underlying pulmonary or cardiovascular disorders). Administer oxygen while preparing for methylene blue therapy.
  • G) METHYLENE BLUE: INITIAL DOSE/ADULT OR CHILD: 1 mg/kg IV over 5 to 30 minutes; a repeat dose of up to 1 mg/kg may be given 1 hour after the first dose if methemoglobin levels remain greater than 30% or if signs and symptoms persist. NOTE: Methylene blue is available as follows: 50 mg/10 mL (5 mg/mL or 0.5% solution) single-dose ampules and 10 mg/1 mL (1% solution) vials. Additional doses may sometimes be required. Improvement is usually noted shortly after administration if diagnosis is correct. Consider other diagnoses or treatment options if no improvement has been observed after several doses. If intravenous access cannot be established, methylene blue may also be given by intraosseous infusion. Methylene blue should not be given by subcutaneous or intrathecal injection. NEONATES: DOSE: 0.3 to 1 mg/kg.
  • H) Concomitant use of methylene blue with serotonergic drugs, including serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs), triptans, and ergot alkaloids may increase the risk of potentially fatal serotonin syndrome.
  • A) INHALATION: Move patient to fresh air. Monitor for respiratory distress. If cough or difficulty breathing develops, evaluate for respiratory tract irritation, bronchitis, or pneumonitis. Administer oxygen and assist ventilation as required. Treat bronchospasm with an inhaled beta2-adrenergic agonist. Consider systemic corticosteroids in patients with significant bronchospasm.
  • B) 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.
  • B) Prolonged initial flushing and early ophthalmologic consultation are advisable.
    • 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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