Clinical Features of Corrosive Acid Poisoning

In this article, we will discuss the Clinical Features of Corrosive Acid Poisoning. So, let’s get started.

Clinical Features

The clinical manifestations depend on the concentration and quantity of acid consumed. The symptoms and signs given below:

A. Ingestional Poisoning

1. Mouth and Oropharynx

Symptoms

  • Pain in mouth, throat and drooling of saliva
  • Difficulty in speech (hoarseness or dysphonia) due to edema of glottis
  • Choking and stridor
  • Constant cough, dyspnea

Signs

  • Skin and oropharyngeal burns, ulcers, edema, necrosis, discoloration of mouth
  • Deep mucosal burns may produce anesthesia
  • Drooling of saliva over lips produce charring of skin over angles of mouth, chin and chest
  • In severe cases, the tongue is shapeless, a pulpy mass
  • Teeth may become chalky white and loose shine in severe poisoning (corrosion of teeth)

2. Esophagus

Symptoms

  • Painful swallowing, retrosternal pain, neck pain/tenderness
  • Haematemesis (vomiting with altered blood and mucus)

Signs

  • Esophageal burns and ulcers. The mucosa is red and swollen

3. Stomach

Symptoms

  • Epigastric pain, burning and tenderness
  • Vomiting. It is strongly acidic, will cause effervescence on coming in contact with earth and will stain clothes

Signs

  • Gastric burns

4. Respiratory tract (due to aspiration)

Symptoms

  • Cough and dyspnea
  • Hoarseness and dysphonia
  • Labored breathing

Signs

  • Tracheitis and pneumonia
  • Pleural effusion may develop

Inhalation poisoning (inhalation of gases i.e. chlorine, fluorine, bromine, iodine, etc)

Symptoms

  • Upper respiratory obstruction, cough, dyspnea

Signs

  • Non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema (rales, crackles)

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