While you’re exposed to chemicals daily, exposure to toxic chemicals or to high levels of certain chemicals may result in serious symptoms. Many different factors play a part in whether individuals get sick from exposure to chemicals, such as:
- The amount you were exposed to
- The type of chemical you were exposed to
- How it entered the body
- Your overall health
- How often you were exposed to the chemical
- Length of the exposure
In some cases, people experience severe reactions to chemical exposure that must be treated quickly to prevent death.
Symptoms of Chemical Exposure
The symptoms of chemical exposure and their severity vary greatly. Certain chemicals, such as phosgene and chlorine can affect the respiratory system, resulting in shortness of breath or wheezing. Other chemicals may affect the nervous system resulting in paralysis. Still others, such as cyanide, may interfere with your body’s ability to use oxygen, resulting in cardiac arrest. Depending on the exact chemical involved, symptoms vary greatly, but some common symptoms may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tightness in the chest
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Skin or eye irritation
- Irritation to the airways
- Excessive sweating
- Loss of appetite
- Flushed skin
- Blurry vision
- Mental confusion
Symptoms that an individual may have suffered from severe chemical exposure include:
- Extreme thirst
- High fever
- Narrowed pupils
- Muscle twitching
- Rapid breathing
- Difficulty breathing
Treating Chemical Exposure
The treatment for chemical exposure varies greatly depending on the specific chemical involved, the individual’s medical history and age, and the severity of the symptoms. In extreme cases, medications may need to be administered immediately to reverse the effects of certain types of chemical poisoning. Moderate to severe cases of chemical exposure may require continuous monitoring of the body’s systems and vital signs, procedures and treatments to manage critical complications, and life support to sustain heartbeat and breathing.
Importance of Emergency Medical Treatment
If you’ve been exposed to chemicals, it’s important to receive emergency medical treatment, particularly if you’re displaying any of the signs of severe exposure and poisoning. Visit Pinnacle ER for treatment or call 911 if needed. Quick, effective treatment can make the difference between life and death in many instances.
Pinnacle ER is equipped with the diagnostic services and tools needed to treat individuals who have experienced chemical exposure. Lab tests, cardiac monitoring tools, intubation, and other services are provided at Pinnacle ER to effectively treat chemical exposure and prevent further complications.