Secondary Mace exposure

  1. Has anyone had a secodary mace exposure in the ER? We had 2 maced pt's, one required sutures and all the staff were coughing and sneezing and had burning nostrils, it was awful. What are typical procedures when this is encountered?
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   NYTramaRN
    Sodium bicarb will usually take care of the exposed skin effects for staff,NS flush for eye exposure.
    Generally it's best to put the alleged <ha!> criminal in the decontam shower and hose him down.
    This works for CN, CS and pepper spray.
  4. by   Medic/Nurse
    I had a "patient" that was just to _____ (drunk, violent - whatever) for jail, so the Police had called EMS to "check him out"

    Long story edited for lousy content. Although the back doors of the ambo were open and the cops just outside - I attempted to assess the patient (I was being pretty kind, maybe the ED would be a better option - I tried to convey that "Caring" side) The patient was initially cooperative.

    Well, out of the blue and (very unprovoked) the patient decided that beating the H*** out of me might be fun. I'm pretty tough, but... The cops and others came to my aid. First they doused on the pepper spray - he became easier to subdue, but between the pepper pray and my now cracked orbit - I was less than subdued. But, My "Patient" did got to jail and in addition to his original "crime" he spent several months for "hurting that nice firefighter/paramedic".

    NEVER SPRAY PEPPER SPRAY (or MACE) in an ENCLOSED SPACE. *Unless you want to get the full experience, too!

    It hurt, I wheezed (no asthma). It was difficult to wash off and I carried the effects (local irritation, felt wheezy) for several days. The orbit, thankfully, did not require surgery - but I am vigilant about the pepper spray, mace and their use now. LAST RESORT. NO ENCLOSED SPACES!

    Be safe!
  5. by   rjflyn
    Fortunately in my location they dont use any chemical substances. Its either Taser or bullets.

    As far as exposure most agencies are using only CS, aka pepper spray. Generally by arrival to the ED most of the fumes have disipated and your just dealing with the oil left on the skin. Again fortunately they are only bringing individuals who need other tx ie lacerations, contusions and the like, if its just pepper spray alone most agencies tell the person in custody that they will gladly bring them to the ER but its on the perps dime.

    As far as tx goes if we have a negative flow room empty thats where they go. Personally I will only flush eyes and wound areas. Its his bad luck that it burns and maybe he will thing twice the next time he fights with the police. Respiratory problems are another issue.



    Otherwise minimize contact and like the other poster said avoid having it used in a closed space ie ER room or truck.

    Rj
  6. by   texas_lvn
    Before I became a nurse I worked for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and for Dallas County Sheriff Department. Every 6 months at TDCJ we would be pepper sprayed and tear gased. Uggggggggg. Every year at DCSD we would be pepper sprayed. So, no second hand experience here. Just first hand. AND IT SUCKS........ Tha capsician in the spray is what makes it worse. And, one time, after I was tear gased, I "plumped" down to the ground, and contaminated myself again! Ugggggg.
  7. by   Larry77
    Mostly Tazers here too but we occasionally do get the pepper spray peeps...we place them in the "psych" rooms and close the outer door so not to spread the wealth. We have used the decontam. shower as mentioned earlier (if they were doused), get their clothes off if they are contaminated, let them wash out their eyes etc and get them cleared to go to jail ASAP.
  8. by   Altra
    Straight into the shower they go, unless they're unstable medically ... and I haven't encountered that situation yet. Someone able to be combative enough to warrant the pepper spray is probably not going to suddenly crump.
  9. by   traumaRUs
    A few years ago we had a nice young, very muscular college kid that decided to get really drunk/high and then fight with the police. Well, the police decided that he was too drunk/high to go their nice clean jail so they brought him into our ER. He was handcuffed to a spineboard and he decided he didn't want to be in our nice ER with us nice folks...so...he starts to walk out, still attached to the board! The nice police took out their smelly pepper spray (because we can't use tasers in the ER) and sprayed this kid all the while spraying the nice nurse (ME!).

    Anyway...it was pretty nasty to say the least. When I was in the Navy we got tear gassed and it wasn't nice either.
  10. by   oneillk1
    Quote from texas_lvn
    Before I became a nurse I worked for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and for Dallas County Sheriff Department. Every 6 months at TDCJ we would be pepper sprayed and tear gased. Uggggggggg. Every year at DCSD we would be pepper sprayed. So, no second hand experience here. Just first hand. AND IT SUCKS........ Tha capsician in the spray is what makes it worse. And, one time, after I was tear gased, I "plumped" down to the ground, and contaminated myself again! Ugggggg.
    Why on earth did they do that????!!!!!
  11. by   Mr. Grumpy
    Just wear an N-95 mask.
  12. by   EricJRN
    Anyone seen pepper spray aerosolized by turning on a shower? That was the source of one of the worst secondary exposures I've seen. (Luckily I wasn't the one exposed.)
  13. by   teeituptom
    Be a man and handle it, it really isnt that bad. Personally I love that pepper spray, makes mace look like a deodorant. Ive used that pepper spray to liven up some rather dull chili.

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