Magnesium and Thermite Poisoning Follow-up

Updated: Sep 08, 2015
  • Author: Jayson Tappan, MD; Chief Editor: Zygmunt F Dembek, PhD, MPH, MS, LHD  more...
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Follow-up

Further Outpatient Care

Outpatient care is identical to care for other thermal burns. A physician experienced in burn management usually should provide follow-up care for patients. Treatment may include dressings, topical antibiotics, analgesia, and grafting.

Outpatient care for UV keratitis is cycloplegic drops to reduce ciliary muscle spasm and to reduce pain. Topical antibiotics, drops or ointments should be prescribed, to decrease the chance of secondary infection. Patients should also have close follow-up with an ophthalmologist within 24 hours.

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Further Inpatient Care

Inpatient care is identical to care for other thermal burns, and it usually involves topical antibiotics (eg, silver sulfadiazine) and surgical debridement. Skin grafting may be needed; institute life-support measures as necessary.

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Transfer

Transfer patients with thermal burns to a burn center if they meet any of the following burn center criteria [10] :

  • Partial-thickness burns over 20% or more of body surface area

  • Full-thickness burns over 10%or more of body surface area

  • Burns involving hands, feet, eyes, ears, and/or perineum

  • Airway involvement

  • Significant underlying illness

  • Age younger than 1 year or older than 65 years

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Deterrence/Prevention

Workplace and military instruction in the dangers and correct handling of incendiary metals are the mainstay of prevention for accidental exposure and injury. Similarly, public awareness campaigns targeting firework safety in particular can reduce accidental injury and exposure.

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Complications

Complications are similar to those encountered in other thermal injuries.

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Prognosis

Prognosis depends on the extent of the burn injury, the underlying medical history of the victim, and the extent of care available.

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Patient Education

For patient education information, see Chemical Warfare and Personal Protective Equipment.

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