Chemical Burn Injuries: Treatment and Recovery

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Different types of chemical burns frequently occur in U.S. A recent report reveals that chemical burns account for 3% to 6% of burn center admissions annually.  Generally, these types of burns might occur at home as a result of accidental exposure to dangerous chemicals. They also occur in the workplace. Sometimes, chemicals are used as a weapon in different forms of assault. Keep in mind that chemical burns can be mild or severe.

Strong acids and strong bases are some of the chemicals that can cause serious injuries. Some of these chemicals include metal cleaners, drain cleaners, bleach, toilet bowl, and more. In the workplace, some chemicals that might cause severe injuries to include acetic acid, nitric acid, sulfuric acid, hydrofluoric acid, and more.

According to medical experts, chemical burns can be deceiving. At first glance, you may not realize that you have suffered a serious injury, but the symptoms may evolve over time. In most cases, chemical burns affect the face, arms, eyes, and legs. When inhaled or ingested, some chemicals might affect your internal organs. Thus, all chemical burn injuries must be assessed and treated by an experienced medical expert. While assessing the damage or potential damage associated with the exposure, the medical expert will check for the following;

  • The type of chemical involved, including its strength and concentration.
  • The duration you (the victim) were exposed to that particular chemical.
  • The amount of chemical you were exposed to.
  • Whether or not you ingested or inhaled the chemical.
  • The area of contact and determine whether your skin is intact in that area of contact.

Some of the common signs of chemical burns include;

  • A headache
  • Shortness of breath or coughing if you inhaled the chemical.
  • Loss of vision or vision changes if your eyes got exposed to the chemical.
  • Dizziness or weakness.
  • Necrotic tissue or blister formation at the area of contact.
  • Irritation, redness, pain or burning sensation at the site of contact.
  • Seizures
  • Changes in blood pressure.
  • Difficulty in breathing – dyspnea.

Treatment approaches will solely depend on the extent of the chemical burn injury. Some burns are minor and can be effectively treated easily. Other cases are severe, and the patient might end up being admitted in a healthcare facility for quite some time. Treatment options might include intravenous fluids to prevent a dangerous drop in your blood pressure.

Often, chemical burns are irrigated with water to make sure that the chemical is completely removed. In cases of severe burns, the patients use pain medication or even narcotics for chronic pain. If the medical expert has an antidote to the chemical you were exposed to, he or she can administer to lower instances of further tissue damage.

Some chemical burns occur accidentally, and you cannot blame anyone for your injuries. However, some burns occur just because someone or an organization was negligent. In this case, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages. Consider consulting with a reputable chemical burn injury attorney to establish whether or not someone was responsible for your injuries.

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