Hydrofluoric acid burn in a child from a compressed air duster

  • Moreno C
  • Beierle E
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Abuse of fluorinated hydrocarbons is on the rise, especially among the adolescent population. These products are potentially hazardous and pose substantial risks when abused. The psychosocial aspects related to inhalant abuse, and the treatment of adolescents with inhalant injuries is unique. We retrospectively reviewed our experience with burns from these products. We present a case of a 12-year-old girl who suffered first- and second-degree burns to her face, neck, shoulder, and chest during an episode of recreational inhalant abuse with 1,1-difluoroethane from an aerosolized computer cleaner. This is one of the youngest cases reported in literature with such burns from questionable fluorinated hydrocarbon abuse. Because of the accessible nature of these compounds around homes, schools, and offices, it is critical for health care providers to have an awareness of the potential hazards and devastating consequences of their abuse. We propose an approach to the care of these patients that provides a focus on both prevention and attention to mental health.

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  • Claudia Moreno

  • Elizabeth A. Beierle

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