ContentsSynopsisCodesLook ForDiagnostic PearlsDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsManagement PearlsTherapyReferencesView all Images (3)
Emergency: requires immediate attention
Ammonia and sulfur dioxide burns - Chem-Bio-Rad Suspicion
See also in: Overview
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed
Emergency: requires immediate attention

Ammonia and sulfur dioxide burns - Chem-Bio-Rad Suspicion

See also in: Overview
Contributors: Craig DeAtley PA-C, Alex Garza MD, MPH
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Anhydrous ammonia and sulfur dioxide gases all form highly corrosive acids or bases when they come in contact with skin and mucous membranes and produce severe chemical burns.

Anhydrous Ammonia:
  • Anhydrous ammonia is a colorless, pungent gas frequently used in agriculture as well as in the manufacture of synthetic fibers. Contact with water produces ammonium hydroxide.
  • Upper airway symptoms include sore throat, nasal irritation with sneezing, and rhinorrhea.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms include nausea and vomiting.
  • Cutaneous symptoms, depending on the concentration of the gas, include superficial to full-thickness burns with tissue loss, thrombosis, and necrosis.
  • Respiratory symptoms include chest tightness, coughing, wheezing, tachycardia, pulmonary edema, airway obstruction from sloughed tissue, and respiratory arrest.
  • Ocular symptoms include lacrimation, conjunctivitis, palpebral edema, blepharospasm, photophobia, ulceration, perforation, and loss of vision.
Sulfur Dioxide:
  • Sulfur dioxide is a compressed gas that has industrial and commercial applications. Contact with moisture produces sulfurous acid.
  • Upper airway symptoms include sore throat, nasal irritation with sneezing, and rhinorrhea.
  • Gastrointestinal: nausea with vomiting.
  • Cutaneous: chemical burns, especially in moist areas such as the axillae and groin.
  • Respiratory: chest tightness, coughing, wheezing, dyspnea, tachycardia, pulmonary edema, cyanosis, and airway obstruction from sloughed tissue.
  • Ocular: lacrimation, conjunctivitis, local edema, corneal damage, ulceration, perforation, and loss of sight.

Codes

ICD10CM:
T30.0 – Burn of unspecified body region, unspecified degree

SNOMEDCT:
218149000 – Burning caused by ammonia

Look For

Subscription Required

Diagnostic Pearls

Subscription Required

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Best Tests

Subscription Required

Management Pearls

Subscription Required

Therapy

Subscription Required

References

Subscription Required

Last Updated:08/30/2013
Copyright © 2021 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Emergency: requires immediate attention
Ammonia and sulfur dioxide burns - Chem-Bio-Rad Suspicion
See also in: Overview
Ammonia and sulfur dioxide burns : Cough, Vomiting, Skin burns, Bullae, Rhinorrhea, Dyspnea, Excessive tearing
Clinical image of Ammonia and sulfur dioxide burns
Extensive vesicle and bulla formation, some clear and some cloudy, on the palm and fingers, secondary to ammonia.
Copyright © 2021 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.