vesicant gas

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vesicant gas

A type of gas that blisters the skin. Clothing and boots become contaminated and a source of danger. Mustard and lewisite gases are examples.


Symptoms do not appear immediately but may be delayed 6 hr or longer. Eye pain, lacrimation, and discharge may be the first evidence. The eyelids swell, and the patient becomes unable to see. A diffuse redness of the skin is followed by blistering and ulceration.


Decontamination is essential and must be thorough. The eyes should be bathed freely with normal saline or plain water. No bandage should be worn. The patient should be scrubbed, if possible, under a hot or warm shower for 10 min. If blisters arise despite these precautionary measures, they should be treated with a mild antiseptic and a protective dressing.

See also: gas
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