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ABSTRACT: Trichloroisocyanuric acid is a high-efficiency and-low toxicity fungicide and bleach. It is commonly used as disinfectant for industrial circulating water, swimming pools, restaurants, and other public places in China. When trichloroisocyanuric acid is put into water, chlorine gas is produced. Chlorine gas is a potent pulmonary irritant that causes acute damage in both the upper and lower respiratory tracts (J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1998;36(1-2):87-93). Pneumomediastinum is a rare complication in patients with acute chlorine gas poisoning. A small amount of gas can be asymptomatic, but a large amount of gas entering the mediastinum suddenly will lead to respiratory and circulatory disorder, mediastinal swing, or even cardiopulmonary arrest. Severe chlorine gas poisoning patients usually need mechanical ventilation; if the pneumomediastinum is not found on time, threat to life would be greatly increased. It requires a high index of suspicion for diagnosis and rapid treatment. The proper use of ventilator, timely and effective treatment of original disease, and multiple system organ support had significant impact on the prognosis. The pneumomediastinum case secondary to inhalation of chlorine gas that we report here should remind all emergency department physicians to maintain a high index of suspicion for this disease and seek immediate and proper intervention when treating patients with acute chlorine gas poisoning, once diagnosed, especially in younger patients.
The American journal of emergency medicine 03/2011; 29(3):357.e1-4. · 1.54 Impact Factor