Medical First Aid Guide


Table 16: HYDROFLUORIC ACID AND HYDROGEN FLUORIDE

These chemicals are corrosive to living tissue. They may cause deep, slowly healing, and painful burns. Systemically, damage to the heart and convulsions may occur. Several fluorides react with water forming hydrogen fluoride.

The onset of local reactions, pain and other symptoms may be delayed up to 24 hours after exposure to lower concentrations. The surface of the skin may not be destroyed for several hours, but the increasing pain and redness indicate a continuing destruction of tissues underneath the skin.

  • IMMEDIATE washing of the eye with copious amounts of water.
  • Remove contact lens.
  • Keep the eyelids widely apart as illustrated.
  • Direct water flow from inner to outer corner of the eye. Washing must be done thoroughly for 10 minutes, timed by the clock. Eye rinse
  • Anaesthetic eye drops should be instilled in the eye to ensure adequate irrigation of the eye.

Further advice on eye treatment: see table 7.

  • Chemical protective gloves and clothing should be used while washing the casualty’s skin. After decontamination, it is not necessary to use protective clothing.
  • Cut, if necessary, the clothes by using shears.
  • IMMEDIATE washing with copious amounts of water for at least 10 minutes while removing contaminated clothing, rings, wristwatches, etc.
  • After washing with water for 10 minutes, dry skin.
  • Using latex gloves, massage exposed area with calcium gluconate gel for at least 15 minutes or until pain is relieved. Leave the gel on the skin. The gel should be re-applied 4 to 6 times daily for 3 to 4 days if a chemical burn is present.
  • Give 5 g calcium gluconate, as effervescent tablets in 250 mL (half a pint) of water, to drink immediately and repeat 2 hours later.
    If calcium gluconate is not available, give milk.
  • RADIO FOR MEDICAL ADVICE.

Further advice on treatment of skin burns: see table 8.

  • Remove the casualty from the polluted atmosphere, have him rinse his mouth and give one glass of water to drink.
  • If breathlessness or wheezing are present, give oxygen at a flow rate of 8 L per minute until symptoms resolve.
  • RADIO FOR MEDICAL ADVICE.

Further advice on breathing problems: see table 9.

  • RADIO FOR MEDICAL ADVICE.
  • Have the casualty rinse mouth with water.
  • Give 5 g calcium gluconate, as effervescent tablets in 250 mL (half a pint) of water, to drink immediately and repeat 2 hours later.
  • If calcium gluconate is not available, give milk.
Signs and symptoms Treatment
Vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea
  • RADIO FOR MEDICAL ADVICE and see table 10.
Shock
  • RADIO FOR MEDICAL ADVICE and see table 11.
Convulsions (seizures, fits) See table 5.

Table 15: Chemical-induced jaundice

Table 17: Organophosphate and carbamate insecticides