What is the focus of management for 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

Supportive care, rather than specific antidotes, is the mainstay of management following caustic ingestions. Medications useful for this purpose include antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors, and analgesics. A systematic review and meta-analysis by Katibe et al concluded that the available evidence does not support the use of corticosteroids for the prevention of esophageal strictures following caustic ingestion, but noted that the overall quality of the evidence is limited. [22]

A significant exception to this would be the aggressive administration of intravenous calcium for dysrhythmias precipitated by hypocalcemia from hydrogen fluoride ingestion. Such therapy is best performed with the guidance of the toxicologist at the local poison center.


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