Ministry of Health
Hydrofluoric acid (HF) is one of the strongest inorganic acids.
A severe burn can be considered if:
1. HF of 50% concentration or greater burns >1% body surface area
2. HF of any concentration to >5% body surface area
3. Inhalation of >60% HF concentration
Mechanism of toxicity:
1. Local tissue damage secondary to hydrogen ions
2. Local tissue damage secondary to fluoride ions forming insoluble salts with
calcium and magnesium
3. Systemic effects of hypocalcemia, hyperkalaemia, hypomagnesaemia, including
cardiac arrhythmias / sudden death
1. Relatively little surface reaction.
2. Delayed severe pain in the region.
3. Time of onset is related to the concentration of HF.
If gel is not available dissolve10% Calcium gluconate in 3 times teh volume of