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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 22(1); 2011 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2011;22(1): 116-120.
A Case of Successful Management of Inhalation Injury Caused by Hydrofluoric Acid Poisoning
Ik Kwon Seo, Sung Jin Kim
Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Keimyung, Korea. sjkim@dsmc.or.kr
Hydrofluoric acid (HFA) is an extremely corrosive fluid and should be handled very carefully. It penetrates tissue more quickly than typical acids, and has the systemic toxicity that can occur via dermal, ocular, inhalation, and oral routes. Furthermore, it interferes with nerve function, thus burns may not initially be painful but may become gradually painful. If the treatment is delayed, the extent and seriousness of injury and toxicity will be much more severe; HFA will be absorbed into the blood stream, react with serum calcium, and may cause arrhythmia or cardiac arrest. As the chemical industry grows, the frequency of HFA use is increasing, leading to increased incidences of HFA dermal burn. Yet, reports of HFA inhalation injury are rare. Presently, we treated one patient with HFA inhalation injury sustained during work at a cosmetic factory. The male presented an acutely ill appearance, shortness of breath, and cold sweating. At once, oxygen, IV antibiotics, and IV 20% calcium gluconate were administered, and the patient was closely monitored. The patient was admitted to the intensive care unit. Successful management led to discharge without any significant complications.
Key words: Hydrofluoric acid, Calcium gluconate, Inhalation
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