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Difference Between Acid and Alkali Poisoning. A Brief Review

Dr. Adil R, MBBS


Different between acid and alkali poisoning.

Acids Alkalies
Acids precipitates proteins and cause their coagulation necrosis. The resultant coagulum limits further damage. Alkalies react with fats and sponify them. They also dissolve proteins. and Cause liqufactive necrosis and mostly cause more damage as compared to acids.
Squamous epithelium of oral and esophagus is comparably more resistant to acids and the most commonly affected part is stomach antrum. On the other hand, squamous epithelium of pharynx and esophagus are most commonly affected in alkali toxicity.
Most common complication of acid poisoning is perforation which mostly occurs on 3rd or 4th day. Most common complication of alkali poisoning is stricture formation and stricture mostly form after 2-4 weeks of injury but the stricture development depends on depth of burns.
Presence of food in stomach decreases the corrosive effect of acids  
Alkali burns tend to be more dangerous as compared to acidic burns but the line of treatment is same for both.
difference between acid and alkali posiningTreatment include;
1. Immediate dilution with plain water (5ml per kg)
2. Check and Secure Airway patency.
3. Give IV fluids and correct dehydration.
4. Give H2 blockers or Protein pump inhibitors.
5. Give sucralfate, 1 gram every 6 hours.
6. Acid-Base and Electrolytes Monitoring and correction.

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