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Management of corrosive poisoning 

Management of corrosive poisoning
Chapter:
Management of corrosive poisoning
Author(s):

Ram E. Rajagopalan

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199600830.003.0329
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date: 18 October 2021

Corrosive poisoning, typically with household chemicals, is a common problem in children and adults. As ingestion by adults is often intentional, they are usually associated with larger volumes of strong agents and have the potential to create more severe injury than that observed in the accidental ingestions commonly seen in children. The goal of acute care in these cases is to stabilize acute compromise of haemodynamics and to ensure patency of the injured airway. Blind placement of nasogastric tubes and attempts at dilution or neutralization of the ingested chemical are potentially hazardous and should be avoided. Early identification of oesophageal or gastric perforation by clinical evaluation and radiological testing will lead to early and appropriate surgical interventions for these complications. The primary focus after initial stabilization is to evaluate the extent of gastrointestinal injury by early endoscopy. The application of a standardized score to grade the injury allows risk stratification, the planning of nutritional support and referral for appropriate management of the chronic sequelae of scarring and stenosis of the injured gastrointestinal tract. No specific medical therapy can attenuate the extent of damage acutely nor alter the progression of chronic changes.

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