Anhydrous Ammonia Burn of the Respiratory Tract

  • Bricker, Donald L.;
  • Dalton, Jr., Martin L.


The common fertilizer, anhydrous ammonia, is also an extremely toxic poison. Following accidental exposure, severe burns of the exposed skin, the eyes, and the respiratory tract are quite common. During the past seven years we have treated six of these patients, three of whom required tracheostomy and management using a mechanical ventilator. The symptoms and physical findings are described, as is a three-course plan of management, beginning with the initial management at the stage of the accident progressing to emergency room care and, finally, mechanical ventilator therapy in the surgical intensive care unit. Physicians practicing in rural areas should be alert to the danger of anhydrous ammonia and should be quick to recommend tracheostomy in patients who have any degree of respiratory insufficiency following exposure to anhydrous ammonia. Rules for avoiding injury are also included.


JOURNAL: Tex Med. 1978; 74(9): 51-54.

Note: Texas Medicine.

NLOM ID#: 79036052 .

Publication #: 79036052

This document was extracted from the CDC-NIOSH Epidemiology of Farm Related Injuries: Bibliography With Abstracts, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

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