JOURNAL ARTICLE

Ocular hydrofluoric acid burns

R S Rubinfeld, D I Silbert, J J Arentsen, P R Laibson
American Journal of Ophthalmology 1992 October 15, 114 (4): 420-3
1415451
A 30-year-old man sustained exposure of his eyes, face, and neck involving 4% of body surface area to hydrofluoric acid. He was treated with immediate lavage and topical calcium gluconate. Because free fluoride ions from ocular and facial exposures can form complexes with body stores of calcium and magnesium, the patient was transferred to a burn unit for cardiac and electrolyte monitoring. He was also treated with calcium gluconate skin injections, pulmonary nebulizer therapy, and topical antibiotics and corticosteroids. In another case, a 25-year-old man with less severe exposure to hydrofluoric acid was treated as an outpatient with topical antibiotics, corticosteroids, and cycloplegia. If an ophthalmologist is the first to treat a patient with chemical exposure, the history of hydrofluoric acid exposure must be obtained, and the burn team and other medical specialists must be quickly consulted to avoid potentially fatal complications.

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