Accidental Chlorine Gas Intoxication: Evaluation of 39 Patients

Mustafa Sever, Cengiz Mordeniz, Fidan Sever, Mehmet Dokur

Abstract


Background: Chlorine is a known pulmonary irritant gas that may cause acute damage in the respiratory system. In this paper, the socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of 39 accidentally exposed patients to chlorine gas are reported and different emergency treatment modalities are also discussed.

Methods: Two emergency departments’ applications were retrospectively analyzed for evaluation of accidental chlorine gas exposure for year 2007. Patients were classified into 3 groups according to severity of clinical and laboratory findings based on the literature and duration of land of stay in the emergency department. The first group was slightly exposed (discharged within 6 hours), second group moderately exposed (treated and observed for 24 hours), and third group was severely exposed (hospitalized). Most of the patients were initially treated with a combination of humidified oxygen, corticosteroids, and bronchodilators.

Results: The average age was 17.03 ± 16.01 years (95% CI). Seven (17.9%) of them were female and 29 (74.4%) were children. Twenty-four patients (61.5%) were included in the first, nine (23.1%) were in second and six (15.4%) were in the third group. The presenting symptoms were cough, nausea, and vomiting and conjunctiva hyperemia for the first group, first group’s symptoms plus dyspnea for the second group. Second group’s symptoms plus palpitation, weakness and chest tightness were for the third group. Cough and dyspnea were seen in 64.1% and 30.8% of the patients respectively. No patients died.

Conclusions: The authors recommend that non symptomatic or slightly exposed patients do not need any specific treatment or symptomatic treatment is sufficient.



doi:10.4021/jocmr2009.12.1283


Keywords


Accidental; Chlorine exposure; Chlorine gas; Chlorine intoxication; Emergency department

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