What is the prognosis 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

As with all potential toxicants, the prognosis is a function of substance potency and exposure duration. Characteristics that increase the potential toxicity of these substances are the pH, the volume, and concentration of the agent; its ability to penetrate tissues; and its titratable reserve. The titratable reserve is a term that reflects the amount tissue required to neutralize a given amount of agent. Some substances are deadly even with small exposures, such as hydrofluoric acid. Some substances are relatively tolerable despite larger exposures, such as household vinegar.


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