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Poisoning with Acids and Alkalis

 
In poisoning with concentrated acids and alkalis, a grave condition rapidly develops due, in the first place, to extensive burns in the mouth, throat, oesophagus, stomach, and often the larynx. Later, the absorbed toxins affect the vital oranges (e.g. liver, kidneys, lungs, or heart). Concentrated acids and alkalis are able to destroy tissues. The mucous membranes, being less resistant than the skin, are destroyed and necrosis occurs more rapidly involving deeper layers.

Burns and scabs from on the mucous membrane of the mouth and lips. When a burn due to sulfuric acid the scabs are black, in a burn due to nitric acid they are grayish-white

Alkalis more easily penetrate the skin and affect deeper layers. The burnt surface is loose, decomposed, and whitish in colour.

As soon as an acid or alkali is swallowed the patient feels strong pain in the mouth, behind the breastbone and in the epigastrium. When laid be tosses in bed from unbearable pain. There is almost always tormenting vomiting often with admixtures of blood. Pain shock rapidly develops. The larynx may swell and asphyxia develops. When an acid or alkali is taken in great amount cardiac weakness and collapse rapidly develops. The larynx may swell and asphyxia develops. When an acid or alkali is taken in great amount cardiac weakness and collapse rapidly develop.

Poisoning with ammonium hydroxide takes a grave course. The pain syndrome is attended is attended by asphyxia because the airways are also affected.

The person who is rendering first aid must fond lout at once which chemical caused the poisoning because the treatment varies according to the type of poison.

If the poisoning was caused by concentrated acids and the symptoms of esophageal or gastric perforation are absent the stomach should be lavaged through a thick stomach tube using for it 6-10 liters of warm water mixed with magnesium oxide (20 g per lifter of liquid), or lime water. Sodium carbonate is contraindicated for a gastric lavage. "Minor lavage", i.e. drinking 4-5 glasses of water and then inducing vomiting, will not alleviate the patient's condition and sometimes may even promote absorption of the poison.
 
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