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Jun-Hyun Shin 1 Article
Analysis of Patients with Acute Industrial Toxic Exposure at an Emergency Department in an Industrial Complex
Jun-Hyun Shin, Sung-Woo Moon, Seung-Won Baek, Sung-Ik Lim, Young-Hun Yoon, Sung-Woo Lee, Yun-Sik Hong
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2008;6(2):117-122.   Published online December 31, 2008
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Purpose: Surveys on poisoning usually involves intoxication rather than inhalation, skin contact, etc. Therefore, we examined the characteristics of patients who visited the emergency department in an industrial complex after acute industrial exposure to toxic materials. Methods: Medical records of patients exposed to toxic materials in the work places from April, 2006, to March, 2008, were analyzed retrospectively. Inhalation patients due to fire were excluded. Results: Subjects included 66 patients, with a mean age of $35.4{pm}10.9$ years, mostly men (91%). Toxicity occurred in 51 patients (77%) by contact, 15 patients (23%) by inhalation, and none by oral ingestion. For toxic materials, 10 patients were exposed to hydrofluoric acid, 8 to hydrochloric acid, 7 to sodium hydroxide, 7 to metals, and others. The face and hands were the most frequent exposure site by contact. Most exposures were caused by accidents, with 29 cases (42%) exposed because of carelessness or not wearing protective equipment. Most complaints were pain on exposure site, but 7 of the inhalation patients complained of dyspnea. The majority of patients with contact exposure were discharged after wound care or observation. After inhalation exposure, 1 patient died and 5 patients were admitted to the intensive care unit. Conclusion: Major causes of workplace exposure were not wearing protective equipment or carelessness. Although contact exposures are usually benign, cautious observation and management are required in patients with inhalation exposure.

JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology