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J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2009 Dec;7(2):121-126. Korean. Original Article.
Han KH , Yang JI , Jo SY , Cho YC , Ryu S , Lee JW , Kim SW , Yoo IS , You YH , Park JS .
Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Korea.
Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Korea.

PURPOSE: We investigated the clinical characteristics and demographics of patients who suffered from hydrofluoric acid chemical injury and the mechanism of damage. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients who were exposed to hydrofluoric acid from March 2004 to March 2009 and who were seen at the emergency centers in two university teaching hospitals. RESULTS: Forty four patients out of 47 patients suffered from chemical burn, while the injuries of the remaining 3 could not be identified by the medical records. A total of 17 hydrofluoric acid chemical injury patients were enrolled during the study period, and their mean age was 29.6+/-7.0. All the patients were accidentally injured by contact with the material and none of them inhaled or ingested the material. Only 6 patients wore appropriate protective equipments and 5 underwent the water irrigation for more than 10 minutes. The most common exposure area was the hand and forearm (70.5%). Less than 1% of all of the patients had their total body surface (TBS) exposed to hydrofluoric acid (mean=0.35%). The mean time interval from calcium gluconate administration to pain relief was 33.6+/-8.8 hours. CONCLUSION: When exposed to hydrofluoric acid, it is important to wear protective equipment and undergo water irrigation for more than 10 minutes. Pain and skin damage were observed in all the patients. After treatment, we concluded that administration of calcium gluconate and pain killers was successful in relieving pain, and the prognosis was also positive for the admitted and followed up patients when less than 1% of the TBS was exposed.

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