Dry chem extinguisher effects

  1. 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?
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    Joined: Feb '17; Posts: 2; Likes: 2


  3. by   Rose_Queen
    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.
  4. by   offlabel
    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
  5. by   marienm, RN, CCRN
    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).