Chlorine poisoning: symptoms and treatment
In large industries and in everyday life, chlorine and chlorine compounds are firmly entrenched and occupy their "niche". Given the scale of their use, information about the symptoms and treatment of chlorine poisoning are acquiring significant relevance.
Characteristics of chlorine and its use
Chlorium refers to gaseous substances, yellow-green, has a smell of lime, a strong asphyxiating and irritating effect. It is characterized by high chemical activity and solubility in water.
Chlorine is widely used in production, based on it:
- 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 low costs and high enough efficiency of disinfection, chlorine is actively used for purification and disinfection of water in swimming pools and drinking tap water.
Circumstances of chlorine poisoning
Chlorine poisoning is possible in the following cases:
- exceeding the maximum permissible chlorine concentrations for disinfection of water in the pipeline (strong smell of chlorine);
- the presence of chlorine in large quantities in the pool water 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.
In the human body, chlorine gets through the mucous membranes of the respiratory and digestive systems, the skin.
Symptoms of chlorine poisoning
The first signs of chlorine poisoning are:
- discomfort and irritation of the mucosa of the respiratory tract;
- increased salivation and spasm of the vocal cords;
- cough and difficulty breathing;
- sensation of rubbing and burning in the eyes, lacrimation;
- nausea and bitterness in the mouth;
- headaches and possible cramps;
When exposed to the skin or mucous membranes, there is considerable itching and hyperemia (redness), subcutaneous hemorrhage is likely without damaging the integrity of the skin.
The severity of the pathological process and symptoms of chlorine poisoning are directly dependent on the dose of the poison (chlorine) and the duration of its action.
Types and forms of the clinical course and their symptoms
Depending on the time of exposure to the poison, acute or chronic chlorine poisoning occurs on the body.
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 a mild form are:
- irritation of the mucosa of the upper respiratory tract - discomfort and burning in the nose and throat, a significant cough and nasal discharge;
- minor eye damage - redness and lacrimation;
- minor symptoms of general intoxication (malaise).
This condition can last for a few days.
Symptoms of chlorine poisoning of the middle form
The average form of acute intoxication is manifested as follows:
- the symptoms of the defeat of the respiratory system are growing - attacks of excruciating dry cough and suffocation, pain in the chest and violation of the air exchange process in the form of a short-term reflex stop of breathing;
- the patient is disturbed by a headache, a pain in eyes and a lacrimation;
- The influence on the nervous system is manifested by excessive excitement or inexplicable calmness.
In the absence of medical care, the patient may develop pulmonary edema for several hours (up to 4).
Symptoms of heavy chlorine poisoning
For the severe form of acute poisoning, the following symptoms are characteristic:
- impaired consciousness;
- after a brief normalization of the lungs, the breath becomes ineffective, superficial and convulsive, to a stop and possible death within 5 minutes to half an hour.
Symptoms of chlorine poisoning with a lightning-fast form
The lightning-fast form of acute poisoning proceeds according to the type:
- breathing is blocked and becomes impossible as a result of abrupt laryngospasm - narrowing of the glottis;
- the patient loses consciousness and falls into a deep faint;
- swollen veins on the face and neck, convulsions are noted;
- there is a loss of control over muscle and motor activity;
- voluntary urination and defecation (bowel evacuation).
The high content of chlorine in the air causes an almost instantaneous lethal outcome. Strangulation occurs, cyanosis (blue) of the skin and death occurs.
Contact solutions with a significant content of chlorine (in liquid form) is manifested by a chemical burn - redness and swelling, pain and considerable itching 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 there are:
- damage to the respiratory system - chronic dry cough;
- propensity to depressive conditions and convulsions;
- general malaise.
How to help the victim with chlorine poisoning
What should I do if chlorine is poisoned first? Before the arrival of physicians should provide first aid to the victim:
- Eliminate the source of poison in the body - withdraw or remove the patient outside the area of action of the poison. In this case, it is necessary to remember the safety of the rescuer - the use of gauze mask or respirator.
- Ensure access of clean air.
- Remove contaminated clothing and warm (not hot) water to wash contacting skin.
- In the case of oral ingestion (swallowing) of chlorine-containing fluids, the stomach must be rinsed. Rinse better through the probe, or you can induce vomiting after a heavy drink.
- In case of eye damage, rinse with plenty of water or a mild soda solution to relieve irritation.
- Rinsing the oral cavity and nose with soda solutions to minimize damage to mucous membranes, the use of inhalations with the addition of soda to ease coughing.
In case of chlorine poisoning, the first medical aid consists in providing airway patency (if necessary), administration of Hydrocortisone or Prednisolone, instillation of the eyes with an anesthetic (0.5% solution of dicaine or 0.25% Novocaine).
Treatment of chlorine poisoning
Treatment of patients with chlorine poisoning consists of:
- ensuring the necessary oxygen saturation of blood;
- stabilization of hemodynamic processes (blood flow through the vessels) and removal of pulmonary edema;
- restoration of acid-base metabolism;
- in the case of complications, antibacterial and symptomatic therapy.
Prevention of chlorine poisoning consists of:
- maintenance of due working conditions according to sanitary-technical requirements (ventilation, ventilation, serviceable equipment);
- use of personal protective equipment when working with chemicals in the workplace;
- regular checks of chlorine concentrations in the air of the work area;
- Medical examinations to identify predisposition (preclinical forms) and chronic diseases;
- in the home - compliance with safety requirements in the use of chlorine-containing liquids.
Given the significant risk and widespread use of chlorine, the severity of the damage to it and the high possibility of death, everyone must have an algorithm of action and a clear position - to prevent poisoning is easier and more expedient than to treat and combat its consequences.