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Medical Management of Hydrofluoric Acid Exposure

Author: Upfal M, Doyle C, Department of Family Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201

Journal: J Occup Med 1990 Aug;32(8):726-31

Abstract: Hydrofluoric acid burns are usually due to accidental exposure. Deep tissue injury may result, damaging nerves, blood vessels. tendons, and bone. Concentrated hydrofluoric acid may cause immediate pain; dilute solutions may result in a delay of symptoms for many hours. Symptoms are usually out of proportion to the observed injury. Appropriate first aid and medical management can dramatically affect the prognosis. Local treatment consists of copious water lavage and the application of topical neutralization agents. For more severe exposures, calcium gluconate injection or intraarterial infusion of calcium gluconate may be indicated as well. Life-threatening alterations of electrolytes can occur, with ensuring arrhythmias. Inhalation, ingestion, and ocular exposures require specialized treatment and referral.

Three Army soldiers were on their way to us following an explosion of an improvised device.  The driver had goggles on and suffered extensive facial trauma and all three had eye injuries from the debris that hit them.  We got bilateral Morgan Lenses in all three and flushed each with several liters of LR.  Followed with antibiotics, they were rebandaged and on an emergency air evacuation that evening.  These men were grateful for the care they received.  The technicians and physicians here are thankful that everyone knew what to do to get the lens system set up and running.  I am grateful to you for the opportunity to access the class online and ability to present it shortly after we arrived.  One of the others did have a corneal laceration that we could assess after flushing.  We feel confident that all will have the best outcomes thanks to the Morgan Lens use.


We also had a patient who experienced an electrical explosion (a generator) to his face.  We used Morgan Lenses to irrigate his eyes and sent him on an air evacuation flight to Germany.  He has since returned to duty and is doing well with minimal residual sight loss.                                   

Military Registered Nurse (Active Duty)

MorTan Inc.

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Why Use The Morgan Lens?

The Morgan Lens is used in 90% of hospital emergency departments in the USA and can be inserted in less than 20 seconds. There simply is no other "hands-free" method of eye irrigation. Nothing else frees medical personnel to treat other injuries or to transport the patient while irrigation is underway. Nothing is more effective at treating ocular chemical, thermal, and actinic burns or removing non-embedded foreign bodies, even when the patient's eyes are closed tightly. Its design makes it simple and straightforward to use so minimal training is required.