Chlorine poisoning: symptoms and treatment
In large industries and in everyday life, chlorine and chlorine-containing compounds are firmly rooted and occupy their “niche”. Given the scale of their use, information about the symptoms and treatment of chlorine poisoning acquire significant relevance.
Characteristics of chlorine and its application
Chlorine is a gaseous substance, yellow-green in color, has a smell of lime, a strong suffocating and irritating effect. It is characterized by high chemical activity and solubility in water.
Chlorine is widely used in production, on the basis of which they make:
- toxic chemicals;
- means for disinfection and washing;
- used in non-ferrous metallurgy;
- in the manufacture of plastics and so on.
Also, chlorine is successfully used in everyday life for cleaning, bleaching, washing.
Due to insignificant costs and rather high disinfection efficiency, chlorine is actively used for cleaning and disinfecting water in swimming pools and drinking tap water.
The circumstances of chlorine poisoning
Chlorine poisoning is possible in the case of:
- exceeding the maximum allowable chlorine concentrations for disinfecting water in the pipeline (strong chlorine odor);
- the presence of chlorine in large quantities in the water of the pool and frequent bathing in it;
- bleaching and washing in a closed unventilated room;
- accidents at the enterprise;
- use of chlorine as a weapon of mass destruction.
Chlorine enters the human body through the mucous membranes of the respiratory and digestive systems, the skin.
Signs of chlorine poisoning
The first signs of chlorine poisoning include:
- discomfort and irritation of the respiratory tract mucosa;
- increased salivation and spasm of the vocal cords;
- cough and difficulty breathing;
- feeling of pain and burning in the eyes, tearing;
- nausea and bitterness in the mouth;
- headaches and possible convulsions;
In case of contact with the skin or mucous membranes, significant itching and hyperemia (redness) are observed, subcutaneous hemorrhages are likely without damage to the integrity of the skin.
The severity of the pathological process and the symptoms of chlorine poisoning are directly dependent on the dose of the poisonous substance (chlorine) and the duration of its action.
Types and forms of the clinical course and their symptoms
Depending on the time of exposure of the poison to the body, acute or chronic chlorine poisoning occurs.
Acute chlorine poisoning
Acute chlorine poisoning has 4 forms of clinical course:
- lightning fast
Symptoms of chlorine poisoning in mild form
The most characteristic symptoms of chlorine poisoning in mild form are:
- irritation of the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract - discomfort and burning in the nose and throat, significant cough and nasal discharge;
- slight damage to the eyes - redness and tearing;
- minor symptoms of general intoxication (malaise).
This condition may persist for a few days.
Symptoms of medium chlorine poisoning
The average form of acute intoxication appears as follows:
- symptoms of the respiratory system are increasing - attacks of painful dry cough and choking, chest pain and impaired air circulation in the form of a short-term reflex respiratory failure;
- the patient is worried about headache, eye pain and lacrimation;
- The effect on the nervous system is manifested by excessive agitation or inexplicable calm.
In the absence of medical care, the patient may develop pulmonary edema over several hours (up to 4).
Symptoms of severe chlorine poisoning
For severe forms of acute poisoning, the following symptoms are characteristic:
- disturbance of consciousness;
- after a short normalization of the lungs, breathing takes on the form of ineffective, superficial and convulsive, before stopping and possible death within 5 minutes to half an hour.
Symptoms of fulminant chlorine poisoning
The fulminant form of acute poisoning proceeds according to the type:
- breathing is blocked and becomes impossible as a result of a sharp laryngospasm - narrowing of the glottis;
- the patient loses consciousness and goes deep into a swoon;
- veins swell on face and neck, convulsions are noted;
- loss of muscle and motor control occurs;
- arbitrary urination and defecation (bowel movement).
High chlorine content in the air causes an almost instantaneous lethal outcome. Choking, cyanosis (blue) of the skin occurs and death occurs.
Contact of solutions with a significant content of chlorine (in liquid form) is manifested by a chemical burn - redness and swelling, pain and a significant itch in the affected area.
Chronic chlorine poisoning
Chronic chlorine poisoning mainly occurs in individuals who use chlorine-containing substances in their professional activities (disinfectants, bleaches and other chemicals). In such patients are observed:
- damage to the respiratory system - chronic dry cough;
- tendency to depression and seizures;
- general malaise.
How to help the victim in chlorine poisoning
What to do when chlorine poisoning first? Prior to the arrival of physicians should provide first aid to the victim:
- Eliminate the source of poison in the body - bring or remove the patient outside the zone of the poisonous substance. It should be remembered about the safety of the rescuer - the use of a gauze mask or respirator.
- Provide clean air.
- Remove contaminated clothing and warm (not hot) water to wash contact skin.
- In the case of oral ingestion (ingestion) of chlorine-containing liquids, you need to wash the stomach. Rinse better through a probe, or you can induce vomiting after drinking heavily.
- In case of damage to the eyes, rinsing them with plenty of water or a weak solution of soda to relieve irritation.
- Rinsing the mouth and nose with soda solutions to minimize damage to the mucous membranes, the use of inhalation with the addition of soda to relieve cough.
In case of chlorine poisoning, the first medical aid consists in providing the airway (if necessary), injecting Hydrocortisone or Prednisolone, instilling the eyes with an anesthetic (solution of 0.5% Dicain or 0.25% of Novocain).
Chlorine poisoning treatment
Treatment of patients with chlorine poisoning consists of:
- ensuring the necessary oxygen saturation of the blood;
- stabilization of hemodynamic processes (movement of blood through the vessels) and removal of pulmonary edema;
- recovery of acid-base metabolism;
- if complications develop, antibacterial and symptomatic therapy.
Chlorine poisoning prophylaxis consists of:
- ensuring proper working conditions in accordance with sanitary and technical requirements (ventilation, ventilation, serviceable equipment);
- use of personal protective equipment when working with chemicals in production;
- regular checks of chlorine concentrations in the air of the working area;
- medical examinations to identify propensity (preclinical forms) and chronic diseases;
- in everyday life - compliance with safety requirements in the use of chlorine-containing liquids.
Given the significant risk and widespread use of chlorine, the severity of their damage and the high possibility of death, everyone must have an action algorithm and a clear position - it is easier and more expedient to prevent poisoning than to treat and fight its consequences.