Management of Hydrofluoric Acid Burns in the Emergency Department


North Florida


Ocala Regional Medical Center

Document Type

Case Report

Publication Date



hydrofluoric acid, calcium gluconate, burns, wounds and injuries, chemical burns


Dermatology | Emergency Medicine


Hydrofluoric acid burns are uncommon but unique among chemical burns in that they can cause visually mild burns with significant deep tissue injury and systemic toxicity through multiple mechanisms. We present the case of a patient who presented with bilateral hydrofluoric acid burns to his hands from aluminum brightener. The patient had been using an aluminum brightener with a hydrofluoric acid concentration of 10% for several months at work. On emergency department presentation, the patient endured significant tenderness to his hands and fingers. The patient suffered no serious complications, had no concerning lab or electrocardiographic findings, and was treated symptomatically with calcium gluconate gel. He was discharged home after successful symptom resolution with proper return precautions and instructions on how to safely use hydrofluoric acid containing products. Although not a very common cause of burns, acute care of these burns requires specific knowledge which is imperative for emergency personnel.

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