JOURNAL ARTICLE

Hydrofluoric acid burns

D G Mistry, D J Wainwright
American Family Physician 1992, 45 (4): 1748-54
1558050
Hydrofluoric acid is widely used in both industrial and household settings. The acid may cause insidious burns that can be very destructive. If the burns are not treated appropriately, the continued action of the free fluoride ion leads to liquefaction necrosis of the affected soft tissues, bony erosion and, ultimately, potentially lethal hypocalcemia. Immediate and copious irrigation, followed by topical, subcutaneous or intra-arterial administration of calcium carbonate, minimizes the extent of injury. In major exposure to hydrofluoric acid, management includes serum electrolyte and electrocardiographic monitoring, as well as aggressive repletion of calcium deficiency.

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