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What to Do If You’ve Been Exposed to Dangerous Chemicals

Updated September 28, 2019 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

Chemical exposure can occur from any contact with dangerous chemicals, such as touching, breathing, eating, or drinking harmful chemicals.

One of the leading causes of farming accidents is dangerous chemical exposure; however, workers can be exposed to dangerous chemicals in other industries as well.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, exposure to harmful substances or environments is among the five most common causes of workplace fatalities. In fact, almost 10 percent of all workers who lose their lives as a result of workplace illnesses or injuries die as a result of chemical exposure.

What to Do If You’ve Come in Contact with Harmful Chemicals

If you’ve been exposed to a dangerous chemical, you should:

  • Evacuate the area of chemical exposure
  • Decontaminate (remove clothes and shower)
  • Alert the appropriate authorities
  • Seek medical attention and evaluation
  • Contact a personal injury lawyer

Chemical Exposure Diagnosis

Chemical exposure diagnosis will vary depending on the patient’s signs and symptoms. However, diagnosis typically consists of the following:

  • The doctor will make sure that the hospital staff members are not at risk for exposure.
  • The patient may need to undergo decontamination procedures.
  • The medical staff will work to identify the chemical and the effects the chemical has on the lungs, other organs, and the rest of the body.
  • The doctor will typically consult poison control experts for advice.
  • A history of relevant exposure will be recorded, including: length of exposure, area of exposure, form and concentration of the chemical, other medical problems, symptoms, and more.
  • The doctor will evaluate the patient’s vital signs, including the patient’s: heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, temperature, and blood oxygen level.
  • The doctor will evaluate the patient, including the patient’s: eyes, nose, throat, skin, heart, lungs, abdomen, and more.
  • Serious cases of chemical exposure could require life-saving procedures, such as: artificial ventilation, advanced cardiac life support, or complex medical therapy.

Chemical Exposure Treatment

Chemical exposure treatment will vary depending on the patient’s signs and symptoms. Treatment may consist of the following:

  • IV fluids
  • Steroid medication
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Pain medication
  • Antibiotics
  • Breathing treatment
  • Oxygen mask
  • Oxygen tube
  • Artificial ventilation
  • Antidotes

Further evaluation and treatment may be necessary depending on the health status of the person injured, the type of chemical exposure, and more. To learn more, read our blog on the different types of chemical exposure.

Contact a Farming Accident Attorney Today

If you have been injured as a result of chemical exposure, you are urged to contact the Indianapolis Accident Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you with the next steps in pursuing a farming chemical exposure case, regardless of the type of exposure. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.


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