What is the pathophysiology of caustic ingestions?

Updated: Dec 09, 2020
  • Author: Derrick Lung, MD, MPH, FACEP, FACMT; Chief Editor: David Vearrier, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Caustic chemicals produce tissue injury by altering the ionized state and structure of molecules and disrupting covalent bonds. In aqueous solutions, the hydrogen ion (H+) produces the principle toxic effects for the majority of acids, whereas the hydroxide ion (OH-) produces such effects for alkaline substances.


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