Has anyone working in a burn unit have any insite on the effects of dry chemical fire extinguishers used to extinguish flames on a victim?
I want to know if the use of an ABC dry chemical extinguisher creates any complications with the healing of a patient with 2nd and 3rd degree burns. If used on a person, what additional care is required to care for the patient in the burn unit?
Scenario encountered: Patient soaked himself in gasoline and ignited himself, bystander extinguished flames using ABC dry chem extinguisher. Patient had 100% 2nd and 3rd degree burns. (I already know survival is extremely unlikely/impossible)
So, what complications would be expected and what care considerations would be necessary due to the extinguisher use?
In what capacity do you ask? Are you a nurse caring for the patient? The best person to determine that would be the providers caring for the patient. Are you a family member asking? The healthcare team is the best to answer that.
Really good question, considering these types of fire extinguishers are pretty much everywhere and would be a logical tool to put out someone that is on fire or physically in burning material.
There is a theoretical risk of liver damage because of the ammonium ion that is in the powder, but routine irrigation/debridment of the burns would be just like any other burn that has contamination/debris complicating the initial treatment.
Following liver function and ammonia levels could be part of the plan.
Search monoammonium phosphate for more information
There's probably a chance that the patient inhaled some of the dry chemical- any fine particulate in the lungs will increase the risk of respiratory compromise (not even taking into account what the actual chemical might do in the body).