Various chemicals are firmly established in our lives, they can be found in every kitchen, in every bathroom. Alkalis and acids are used both in everyday life and in production. And do not forget about the danger associated with their use — chemical burns.
Important! First aid for chemical burns is significantly different from first aid for burns received in contact with a hot object.
Symptoms of chemical burns
- Clearly delineated boundaries of the affected area of the skin; there are often departing from the main lesion characteristic bands — “smudges”, which are formed by spreading the chemical on the skin.
- Dry scab (crust) below the level of adjacent (intact) tissues; appears as a result of dehydration of the affected area of the skin. The color of the scab may vary depending on which chemical compound caused the burn.
- Acute pain, burning of the affected area.
- Edema and hyperemia (redness) at the site of injury.
- Probably the presence of necrosis of the epidermis (skin).
- There is a possibility of loss of consciousness as a result of pain shock.
The severity of the lesion and the severity of the symptoms depend on the amount of chemical on the skin, its concentration and reactivity.
Chemical burn by acid
It should be remembered that some acids are not only able to cause chemical burns of varying severity, but also have a General toxic effect on the human body.
First aid for acid burns
1. Remove the casualty’s clothing, which was a drop of chemicals. This should be done with maximum care, avoiding contact with healthy skin acid. If you remove the clothes without contact is not possible, it is necessary to cut.
2. In the first minutes it is necessary to remove chemicals from the skin. The best way is to rinse with a stream of water for 10-15 minutes. If first aid was provided later, wash the affected area should be within 30-40 minutes.
Attention! If the cause of burn — hydrofluoric acid, the washing should be carried out within 2-3 hours.
3. Apply a dry aseptic (sterile) bandage using a bandage or gauze.
4. Call an ambulance and hospitalize the patient.
Important! If the acid gets into your mouth, you must immediately call an ambulance.
What to do if you swallowed acid
If a substance containing acid has got into the gastrointestinal tract, the victim can be given to drink one of the neutralizing liquids: a weak soda solution, soapy water or milk.
Chemical damage to the oral cavity and pharynx with acid is dangerous because of the likelihood of swelling that prevents breathing. If this happens, artificial respiration is necessary.
When assisting a person with a chemical burn is prohibited:
- Lubricate the burned areas with fats, oils and various ointments.
- Try to remove the formed scab from the skin.
- Remove acid from the skin using cotton, paper or towels.
If you do not know exactly what acid caused the burn, do not try to neutralize it yourself! Your actions should be limited to washing the affected area of the skin under running water or a weak soda solution.
Chemical burn with alkali
Alkaline burn is difficult to separate by external signs from burns by other chemical compounds. The acid burns it features color — grayish, not yellow-brown, and less distinct boundaries (alkalis penetrate into the tissues more slowly and deeper than acid). However, these signs seem clear and understandable, and in life everything can look very different.
Therefore, to understand exactly what the cause of the burn was the alkali, only if you know what is included in the composition of the substance that you burn yourself. In all other situations it is better to proceed from the more General concept of “chemical burn” as specific methods for the treatment of alkaline burn in case of applying them to acid burn better to do, but worse – it can.
In any household equipment contains alkali
In a modern apartment you can find almost any chemical compounds, from harmless to extremely dangerous, and alkali is no exception. Moreover, they are based on the lion’s share of so-called household chemicals: alkalis perfectly dissolve fat, and almost all detergents are made on their basis.
In the list containing the alkali household products include:
- means for washing dishes;
- products for dishwashers;
- fat soluble means for cleaning the kitchen;
- Soaps, shampoos and shower gels;
- floor cleaning products;
- means for washing of bathroom equipment;
- means for cleaning of sewer pipes.
In principle, any household chemicals that have soapy properties, you can suspect that it is composed of alkali – most likely, you can not go wrong. And anyway, the danger in themselves are they even liquid soap, harmless to skin, can seriously damage the health in case of contact with mucous membranes, eyes, or stomach. What can we say about, for example, bleaches or means for cleaning pipes – they can cause burns even on the skin, and in contact with the stomach can and does cause death.
First aid for alkali burns
At the initial stage, first aid for alkaline skin burns is no different from that for any other chemical burn. If the alkali has impregnated the clothes, it should be immediately and very carefully removed, trying not to touch the intact skin, and the burn site should be washed under cool running water.
At the same time, the water pressure should be relatively weak, and it should be washed for at least 20 minutes: chemicals, especially alkalis, very quickly penetrate into the tissues, which increases the area and depth of the lesion. If it was not possible to wash the skin immediately after contact with alkali, rinse time should be increased to half an hour.
Attention! In no case do not wipe the affected areas with wet wipes – this further injures the tissue, promotes deeper penetration of alkali and worsens the prognosis.
If the skin is not formed blisters, and you are sure that it is an alkaline burn, you can try to neutralize the remnants of the reagent: the affected area gently blot swab soaked in a weak solution of vinegar or citric acid(this solution should be slightly sour taste). If blisters are formed, then the affected surface after washing should be applied an aseptic bandage and consult a doctor.
If alkali gets into the eye, it should also be washed under cool running water for at least 15-20 minutes, then immediately consult a doctor. If you decided to call the ambulance, begin to flush eyes have yet to finish.
What to do if you swallow lye
One way out – to immediately call a doctor. Or, if this is not possible, go to the emergency Department of the nearest hospital. Before the doctor’s arrival, you can rinse your mouth and throat. You can not take any medications, try to cause vomiting, eat and drink.
Attention! Do not try to wash the stomach yourself before the arrival of doctors, this can lead to additional burn of the food routes. Gastric lavage in this case is carried out only through the gastric probe.
Be careful when using any chemicals, take care of your health.